SECURITY is to be stepped up in the crime hit North Camp area of Farnborough.

Five "spy" cameras are to be installed soon in the main trouble spots. Rushmoor planners gave the go-ahead for the cameras after being told that North Camp suffers a large level of crime and disorder.

Their decision follows a long campaign by traders and residents for action to make the area safer.

The North Camp cameras are part of a Home Office funded scheme to improve CCTV coverage throughout the borough. Costing a total of £465,000, the project also includes updating the CCTV system in Farnborough town centre.

The council plans to re-design the existing system, upgrade some of the poor quality equipment and install new cameras where required.

All the cameras, including those in Aldershot, will be linked to a new state-of-the-art control centre at Rushmoor Council offices. The centre, which will provide 24-hour coverage, will have a direct link with Hampshire police control room.

Jim Pettitt, the council's highways chief, said he was certain the cameras would help to cut crime in North Camp.

"There have been a large number of arrests in Aldershot due to the CCTV system," he added. "Experience has also shown that people feel safer if they know the cameras are keeping watch."