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Stafford town centre will be on TV in Channel 5 show Caught on Camera

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 18, 2014

CAMERAS ON BARBARA . . . CCTV officer Barbara Ashton will feature on TV's Caught on Camera programme.

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STAFFORD town centre will be on TV next week in a series about how CCTV cameras have caught criminals.

The town will appear on Channel 5's Caught on Camera, which looks at how cameras have secured convictions or helped the public and authorities in a range of incidents.

And Stafford Borough Council's own CCTV officer Barbara Ashton, 53, got to experience life in front of the cameras instead of behind it as she was interviewed for the show, due to be screened at 9pm on Wednesday.

The council was approached because of partnerships with businesses, police and other organisations, which have helped cut crime.

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The production team spent several hours at the operation, based at the Civic Centre, reviewing footage and filming on the streets of Stafford through the day.

Barbara Ashton said: "The film crew was keen to see footage of the day-to-day operations from the CCTV control room. I showed them how we responded to calls from businesses and the police to a range of issues where they needed the help of CCTV in successfully catching offenders.

"It is important we get good footage of the incidents so it can be used in future prosecutions if required – and this is something that the film crew were keen to capture.

"It was a new and different experience being in front of the camera rather than my usual role of being the one behind the camera, so to speak. But because the job requires a lot of concentration, and you are always focussed on what you are doing, I very soon forgot the TV cameras were there. I can't wait until Wednesday to see how it will actually come across on the telly."

Councillor Patrick Farrington, cabinet member for community, added: "People are often not aware of the important role our CCTV operation plays in keeping our borough safe by assisting the police and businesses.

"We had no hesitation at allowing a national television crew to see the good work that is going on in the town so they can highlight this as part of their series. And the message is that Stafford is a safe place to be - and that our businesses, police and the council work together to ensure that we keep it that way."

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