WHEN CCTV cameras disappeared from Skipton town centre almost ten years ago, many mourned their passing - fearing that the town would become a target for travelling criminals. The victim of Craven District Council cutbacks, the ten cameras were turned off in 2009.

Now, thanks to Skipton BID, CCTV cameras are back. With more than 40 ready to be turned on, they are bound to be a big help to police in identifying those suspected of crime, for the issuing of witness appeals, and also as a deterrent for shoplifters who have quickly learnt to see Skipton as an easy target.

Skipton’s neighbourhood policing sergeant Paul Evans says they will not only deter shoplifters and anti-social behaviour, but they may also provide useful evidence in convicting criminals. They will, he adds, help ‘create a safe environment’.

Businessman and BID Chairman Andrew Mear describes the removal of the cameras as a ‘short-sighted’ decision and says now, by acting together, the town’s shops and businesses are helping to make the community safer for all.

Only time will tell whether the cameras, being operated with the Skipton Crime Partnership, also managed by the BID, will have an impact, but the indications from other towns are that they will - and they are indeed very much welcomed.