Council puts Horse in the picture with new CCTV

Planning permission has been granted for the £5,000 installation of two CCTV cameras to protect the 1514 Memorial in the town centre.

The Horse monument on Oliver Place, which commemorates the Battle of Hornshole almost 500 years ago, has suffered from acts of vandalism in recent months

Two static video recorders are to be installed on opposite sides of the memorial in an attempt to deter potential vandals and will focus solely on the area around the monument.

One camera will be placed above the entrance to Turnbull’s delicatessen and another above the sign for Brougham Place on the former Sugar Mountain sweet shop.

The latter device will sit alongside an existing ‘Public Space’ camera, which will rotate to record a wider view of the surrounding area.

The installation of the two new cameras, to be operated by Scottish Borders Council rather than the police, has been funded by the council’s small schemes budget after being ratified following a site visit by local councillors, and council and police officials.

An increased presence of CCTV in the area was proposed after a vandalism attack last year that saw a one-metre section of the monument’s flag pole broken off.

The statue was also subject to a Halloween prank when a fancy dress head was placed on it. Surveillance of the area has proven insufficient, despite the existence of the current camera that was installed in 1997 as part of the a six-camera town centre CCTV system that cost around £100,000.

“The cameras that are being added to the Horse in Hawick are not part of the Public Space CCTV system, however, the cameras being installed will be of a specification necessary to carry out their required function,” said a council spokesperson.

“The two additional fixed cameras are being introduced specifically to cover the Horse monument. The existing camera at Brougham Place will remain in place.”

But the spokesperson said that the presence of additional surveillance would not necessarily have prevented the previous acts of vandalism. “CCTV cameras are installed to prevent and detect crime, and to provide reassurances to the community,” said the council representative. “There is no guarantee that CCTV would have prevented the vandalism taking place.”