CCTV across Cherwell district is set to get a high-tech overhaul to the tune of £330,000.

Old monitors and video recorders are being replaced by new LCD screens and a hard-disk recording system.

The control room, at Banbury police station, is currently being revamped. Once complete, images will be sharper and footage can be reviewed immediately.

Cherwell District Council, which owns the equipment, is footing the bill.

Supt Howard Stone said: “This much-needed upgrade to the systems in Cherwell will be an invaluable asset to policing the district and ensures any further developments can be carried out with minimum effort and expense.

“CCTV is an invaluable tool, not just in the fight against crime but also in ensuring community safety.

“The sharper images provided by the new systems will help operators identify and locate missing and vulnerable people quicker and the manner in which the data is recorded will be easier to access.”

The new system will also be capable of coping with an unlimited number of cameras if more were added in the future.

Its controls will make operating the system easier and will also do away with the need for paperwork leaving more time for operators to watch cameras.

Cherwell’s executive member for community safety, street scene and rural services, Nigel Morris, said: “I for one can’t wait to see the new system in operation.

“Our old equipment was in desperate need of updating and I know our colleagues at Thames Valley Police will agree that this is money well spent.

“It will help us make the most of what we have and any future upgrades will be possible with the minimum of fuss.”

Work started this week and the new system is due to be up and running by the end of February.