CIVIC chiefs in Romsey are looking for volunteers willing to monitor the CCTV system in the town centre in a bid to prevent crimes.

The appeal comes after plans to have security guards patrolling the town centre over the Christmas period were given the go-ahead last week.

As previously reported, the initiative was proposed by Dorothy Baverstock and John Ray, both councillors for Romsey Cupernham ward.

Cllr Baverstock, mayor of Romsey, has confirmed that two security officers will be patrolling the town centre every day from December 1 in a bid to prevent shoplifting.

The initiative will cost more than £5,000 and will be funded by Test Valley Borough Council, Romsey Future, Hampshire County Council and local shopkeepers.

Cllr Nick Adams-King, deputy council leader, said: “We are going to evaluate its success and we will look at perhaps re-introducing it in the future.”

But Cllr Baverstock has also confirmed that town bosses are in talks with Hampshire police to recruit volunteers who will be able to monitor the CCTV cameras installed across the town centre in a bid to prevent crimes and keep the community safe.

“We are looking for people to do office hours. As soon as we can get some volunteers they can be trained,” Cllr Baverstock added.

She said between 18 and 25 volunteers are needed to start the project.

A spokesperson for Hampshire police said: “We can confirm we are considering a proposal to use police volunteers to monitor the CCTV system in Romsey. Initial discussions have taken place with Romsey Town Council and Test Valley Borough Council, and should the scheme go ahead, volunteers would receive appropriate vetting and training.

“The borough council is responsible for the CCTV system. Hampshire Constabulary is not responsible for monitoring the CCTV system, but officers can request footage from the borough council for evidential purposes. The CCTV system is an additional resource, and officers deploy to incidents reported to us in Romsey in the same way as any other part of the county.”

Residents who would like to volunteer can contact the Town Council.