FRODSHAM and Helsby would be safer places to live, work and play if the streets were covered by security cameras.

Police are insisting criminals are targeting the affluent communities because they know their crimes are not being captured by CCTV.

Despite numerous campaigns by local business groups, police and town councillors, the main streets of Frodsham, Helsby and Kingsley remain uncovered by the cameras that would be a ‘vital tool’ in deterring and capturing criminals.

Inspector Phil Hodgson said: “When we interview prisoners and ask them why they targeted the area, they often say ‘it is because you haven't got any CCTV’.

“It makes people feel safer. I have never subscribed to the Big Brother idea that people are watching and controlling you.

“Having CCTV would be a fantastic deterrent for crime, we have a lot of cases where people say they ‘weren't there’ but with CCTV we can pinpoint where they were at the time of the crime.”

Insp Hodgson said a system similar to that in force in Chester city centre, with a manned control room, would see a massive reduction in anti-social behaviour, break-ins, shoplifting and assaults.

Earlier this year the installation of a CCTV system at a elderly couple’s home in Frodsham helped identify and deter a gang of youths who had been terrorising the pair for months, throwing eggs and yelling abuse.

Back in 2009 Cllr Andrew Dawson - now Mayor of Frodsham - called for an increase in council tax to pay for the installation of street security cameras in Frodsham.

But after a feasibility study by Vale Royal Borough Council suggested it would cost around £300,000 to set up the 14-camera system, plus £150,000 every year for running costs, the proposed CCTV system on Frodsham Main Street was scrapped.

A spokesperson for Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “At the moment we haven't received sufficient information into a need in Frodsham for CCTV. If anyone feels a need they should make contact with the safety team and make their concerns clear.”