NEARLY half a million pounds will be spent on the borough's CCTV network to crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour.

Some £420,000 has been earmarked for new and upgraded cameras in Leigh, and also in Wigan, Ashton and Pemberton in the coming months.

Another £56,000 project is already operational in Platt Bridge.

Upgrades made to existing cameras will provide  the capability to capture high-definition images and to identify vehicles using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, portfolio holder for police, crime and civil contingencies, said: “I am proud to see this huge investment into the safety of our residents and I am confident it will contribute significantly to helping to tackle anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and other offences.

“Through the borough’s Place and Community Safety Partnership we developed a joined-up approach to tackling local safety issues and have a shared plan of action.

“The expansion of our CCTV network is an important part of that plan and I couldn’t be happier to see it come to fruition.”

Following a proposal from Coun Anderson, the project has been supported through Wigan Council’s cabinet fund, which is set aside for investing in key initiatives in the borough.

The locations of the cameras have been chosen based on where the council had seen the highest demands in the borough.

Councillor Dane Anderton, lead cabinet member for district centres and the night-time economy, said: “We are working hard to increase the safety of our town centres during the day and at night. I welcome this important investment from the Cabinet Fund.”

Council leader David Molyneux said: “As part of the Deal 2030 and Wigan Council’s commitment to help people feel safe where they live, the Place and Community Safety Partnership has already undertaken some fantastic work that has made our borough a safer place to be.

“This investment promises to add to the many great initiatives that are already underway.

“We have listened to the concerns raised by our residents and we are bringing the additional CCTV coverage to the areas that need it the most.

“Our top priority is always to keep our residents safe and I am confident this investment will deter crime and boost our ability to tackle anti-social behaviour.”