The future of CCTV coverage across Breckland’s five market towns is unclear after the cameras were switched off today.

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But a Breckland Council spokesman said engineers were “working to find the best and quickest solution to get the system up and running”.

The 63-camera system, based in Thetford, used to be run by Advanced Monitoring Solutions (AMS), which went into administration.

It covered Watton, Swaffham, Dereham, Attleborough and Thetford.

A council spokesman said: “The parts of the system we use that had been provided by AMS were turned off by the administrator today. We had limited information as to what the system would do when these aspects were swtiched off. We have prepared for every eventuality.”

She added Breckland have received technical knowledge and expertise from West Norfolk Council, which already operates a similar CCTV system to the one at Thetford.

This is to ensure coverage across the district is maintained, but it is not yet known when the cameras would be switched back on, according to the spokesman.

She said: “We will continue to work with West Norfolk Council to identify best options going forward. Any interim solutions to keep the system in operation will be within existing budgets.”

The council said it became aware AMS was in trouble a month ago and it had signed a £3.5m 10-year contract in 2009 with the operator.

Lynda Turner, Breckland cabinet member, said: “As soon as we were made aware of the issues with our CCTV provider council officers were tasked with coming up with solutions to this issue. Had we not taken such rapid action the cameras would have been permanently switched off on July 31. As it is, downtime will be kept to an absolute minimum.”

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