A PIONEERING scheme to keep a close eye on vandals is coming to Hyndburn.
The borough will be the first area in Lancashire to get bus shelters with built-in surveillance cameras thanks to an initiative from Lancashire County Council's Safer Travel Unit and Hyndburn Community Safety Partnership.
Sheltercam is made by West Yorkshire-based Vetatech and the scheme is being financed by the partnership using anti-social behaviour cash from the Home Office's Building Safer Communities fund.
The partnership approached the company behind the state-of-the-art digital CCTV system after consultation with members of the public highlighted shelter damage as one of the reasons why people are reluctant to use buses.
Trials of the unique system in West Yorkshire have seen a 72 per cent reduction in damage and vandalism to shelters protected by the cameras and a 24 per cent overall reduction in all shelters due to the publicity generated by the scheme.
Michael Frankland, chairman of the Hyndburn Community Safety Partnership, said: "We are proud that Hyndburn is the first area within Lancashire to spearhead this type of bus shelter CCTV system.
"Public concern and statistical evidence provided by Lancashire County Council's Safer Travel Unit provided the foundation to fund and install the cameras.
"We are confident that the use of such a system will discourage anti-social behaviour and vandalism but most of all encourage our communities to feel safer and more reassured while using bus shelters in Hyndburn to wait for public transport."
Manager of the Safer Travel Unit, Rod Hall, said: "The advantage is that the systems are portable so when a problem has been addressed in one area the equipment can be moved.
"We also believe that the use of the systems will lead to an improvement of the facilities provided to the bus-using public, therefore encouraging greater use of local bus networks, enabling the public of Hyndburn to travel easily and safely."