Croydon Council is planning to use controversial anti-terror laws to place wireless spy cameras in people’s homes to stop antisocial behaviour.

The new initiative is currently being trialed in the borough with stand-alone cameras that can be viewed remotely by the council.

Once the units have been requested by residents they can be placed inside their home and can be trained on the outside of the property to capture footage of troublemakers in action.

However, to place the cameras in someone’s home the council has to apply to itself for Regulation of Investigatory Act (RIPA) permission to do so.

Images can then be viewed on a computer or remotely accessed, and the evidence used to convict criminals.

The council is trialing two such camera sets and will purchase more if the scheme is a success.

Councillor Gavin Barwell, cabinet member for community safety, said: “This is good news for residents. No one should have to put up with antisocial behaviour on their doorstep, and these cameras give us another means of responding quickly if it occurs.

“We already have an extensive range of CCTV equipment, but we want to be able to respond to communities’ needs for surveillance as quickly as possible should they arise.”

Croydon Council has one of the most extensive CCTV networks in the capital, and the control room is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The three wireless cameras can also be moved around the borough to carry out surveillance at persistent trouble spots.

All the cameras need is a power source and the cameras can be installed on a lamp column or building, beaming the images, via 3G mobile telephone technology which can be accessed on a laptop.

All the borough’s CCTV images are recorded and can be used in a court of law as evidence to prosecute offenders.

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