BIG Brother will be keeping a closer eye on criminals in Redbridge after news that 30 new CCTV cameras are destined for the borough.

Cameras in libraries and several other council buildings will also be linked up to the council's CCTV network, which already includes 250 cameras.

Speaking during a visit to the council's CCTV control centre in Ilford on Monday, borough commander chief superintendent Dave Grant claimed the extra cameras will be an invaluable crimefighting tool.

He said: "These cameras make people feel safer and at the same time they will be an important addition to our armoury.

"Cameras are not meant to replace police officers - they are there to help deter criminals and to give us the evidence we need to convict those who break the law."

The cameras, each costing £8,000, will include one in Wanstead High Street opposite Grosvenor Road, with sites in Gants Hill, Newbury Park, Barkingside and Valentines Park also earmarked to receive extra CCTV coverage.

Mr Grant cited the contribution of CCTV footage in the recent conviction of the murderer of Ilford teenager Kashid Mahmood as an example of its usefulness.

He said: "The evidence we gained from the camera in the subway where he was attacked played an essential part in helping us bring his killer to justice."

These views were backed by Metropolitan Police Authority chairman, Len Duvall, who says the investment demonstrates the commitment of the police and council to increasing public safety in Redbridge.

He said: "The cameras will act as a constant reminder to criminals that they are being watched and that they will not be allowed to get away with breaking the law."

Council community safety officer Alun Sinclair said the new cameras, which are being funded by the council, Transport for London (TfL) and local businesses, will be placed in the areas where they are most needed.

He said: "We have already installed some of the extra cameras and hope to have the majority of them in place by the summer."