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Leading police officers in Cornwall have hailed the effectiveness of the CCTV system in St Ives after several high-profile incidents.

St Ives Town Council provides and maintains the network of CCTV cameras, which have been installed across the town. They are monitored by operators based in Camborne.

Devon and Cornwall Police highlighted three cases where CCTV assistance proved crucial. They cited the recent conviction of a St Ives man for committing a series of sex attacks on three women in the town. CCTV cameras captured the man stalking the streets between August and December last year, in order to locate his victims.

On the night of the second attack, CCTV footage was able to show a pattern of sightings similar to those captured three weeks before, when the first victim was attacked. It also showed clothing the attacker was wearing, which was subsequently found in the man’s flat.

The cameras also helped after a recent stabbing in Tregenna Road which resulted in the 29-year-old victim suffering a wound in the arm. CCTV footage iproved extremely useful, resulting in three men from Birmingham being arrested. Investigations are ongoing.

A missing person enquiry in September involved a Nottingham man whose welfare was a matter of urgent concern. He had a previous connection with St Ives, but with this very tenuous link, the CCTV operators were able to observe his car entering the town, which led to him being located. He was subsequently placed within a specialist mental health setting.

Divisional police inspector, Rebecca Le Cheminant, said: “These are just a few examples of where CCTV has made an invaluable contribution. We are extremely grateful for the CCTV provision by St Ives Town Council, which goes a long way towards keeping communities safe, particularly when working with complex cases.”

Town mayor, Tony Harris, added: “Since the CCTV cameras were introduced in 2018, the system has had an immensely positive impact on community safety on numerous occasions.”