More CCTV cameras proposed to monitor suicide hotspots in Preston

More CCTV cameras could monitor suicide hotspots in Preston.
More CCTV cameras could monitor suicide hotspots in Preston.
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More CCTV cameras could monitor suicide hotspots in Preston.

Councillors hope they will help to aid the intervention of suicide attempts.

A scrutiny group at Preston City Council (PCC) has published a range of recommendations to tackle the numbers of people committing suicide in the city.

Preston has a “significantly worse” suicide rate than the England average - and has done for almost a decade, according to the latest statistics. It is one of only three areas of Lancashire which fall into that category - the others are Blackpool and Hyndburn.

As part of the recommendations to reduce the risk of suicide, members of PCC also want to perform an annual audit of council–owned buildings, enhancing their security. It is hoped that the extra measures will be in place by June 2019. The council also wants to encourage owners of commercial property in the city to conduct such an audit.

Before that the scrutiny group will be appointing a champion for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

As well as the new initiatives, a report by the council outlines the ongoing work it will continue to undertake.

It includes continuing its work with community members and local faith group leaders in sharing knowledge and understanding of suicide, detecting signs and “signposting individuals to help and deliver sensitive approaches to suicide and suicidal behaviour”.

Other work involves training for community groups and promoting mental health awareness.

Between 2007 – 2014 Preston’s suicide rate has been consistently “significantly worse than the England average”. That’s according to a report published in March 2016 by Lancashire County Council. It found that between 2011-13 and 2012-14 Preston, Hyndburn, Lancaster and Pendle experienced an increase in the rate of deaths from suicide and injury of undetermined intent.

Between 2006 and 2015 in Preston the highest percentage (42 per cent) of suicides were in the 30–49 age group. 76 per cent of suicides were among males and 24 per cent females