CRIME-BUSTING success is putting the town of Accrington in the national spotlight as a model for others to follow.

Hyndburn Council's unique combination of closed-circuit TV cameras and community safety wardens is to be featured in a new series of the BBC programme Crime Beat in July.

Presenter Martyn Lewis visited the town last year to look at the the innovative way the council has attacked crime.

The programme will include footage of the arrest of two men breaking into a car at Accrington station and the co-operation between police, wardens and camera operators at 2am to arrest a man in the town centre.

Representatives from the council and police talk about the surveillance system and local people praise the safety wardens as "ambassadors for the town" offering help and advice, as well as combating crime.

Council leader George Slynn said: "It is wonderful that Accrington's crime prevention system is being held up as the way forward to every town in Britain.

"This programme will indicate to a national audience that Hyndburn is not only an innovative borough, but is also an up and coming centre for business and tourism."

Crime in the town centre has been cut by half and car-related crime by 75 per cent as a result of communication links between wardens, the police, camera operators, the town hall, sports centre, market and 20 retailers since the scheme was set up in November 1995.

The scheme, now being copied in other towns, has also led to a £500,000 drop in the cost of reported crime in the first full year of operation, down from £666,000 in 1995 to £147,000 in 1996.

Hyndburn recently won almost £50,000 from the government to extend the CCTV system across the borough.

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