New security cameras and better lighting are helping to boost safety at a South Tyneside recreation ground.
CCTV cameras have been fitted near the Temple Park Centre in South Shields and are already helping to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
In recent months they have led to successful convictions for incidents of theft and criminal damage as well as the seizure of a mini moto, which was illegally being ridden on the grounds of Temple Memorial Park.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “Temple Memorial Park is a large open recreation area, well used by local people but there have been concerns raised about anti-social behaviour on the land.
“These cameras have only been in place for a few months and are already proving to be effective.
“They are linked to the council’s CCTV control room, they enable officers to track incidents and relay information to police in real time.”
Earlier this year, more than 70 new street lights were installed across the Whiteleas section of Temple Memorial Park grounds with support from the West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum and the council’s Green Space Team.
The lighting improvements have since been extended along the footpaths and cycle ways towards the King George Road area with further support from the East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum.
The new lighting columns have been installed by the council’s street lighting partner, Balfour Beatty and illuminate the footpaths to national cycleway standards.
They have been welcomed by the national cycling charity, Sustrans.
Mark O’Keefe, of Sustrans, said: “If we are to encourage more people to take up cycling for leisure or to promote walking and cycling as a more sustainable means of transport, we need to ensure our public spaces are safer, more attractive places for people making journeys after dark, particularly during the winter months.
“We welcome the improvements made in the Temple Park area, especially now we have The Bike Park on the site providing a place to demonstrate cycle skills and a location to lead rides and walks from.”