SEIZED money from criminals could be used to fund CCTV in Ilkley.

The idea was put forward by police as one option after councillors agreed to survey people in the town to see if they wanted the cameras.

Ilkley's early intervention and prevention officer with West Yorkshire Police Sam Hollings told a meeting of the parish council CCTV was such a valuable tool he would be willing to get as many funding streams as possible to meet the initial costs. One option would be to re-use money seized from criminals in the town.

PC Hollings has already conducted his own survey to gauge local feeling on the issue. Out of 300 who replied in September around 90 per cent supported the idea, and he asked for the matter to be discussed by the council.

At a meeting on Monday councillors decided to conduct a widespread survey across the town to be sent out with the parish magazine in January. Drop in advice sessions are also set to be organised by Bradford Council and the police.

The parish council made its decision after a question and answer session with Bradford Council's CCTV manger Phil Holmes.

Mr Holmes told them: "What you have got basically is a one-eyed policeman who never goes to sleep, never goes on holiday and never goes off sick."

He said new microwave technologies made today's CCTV very cost effective, with little on-going cost once the system was installed. He said microwave technology would be possible at all the potential locations pointed out so far.

He added: "The idea would be to do a more detailed survey for some specific locations and obviously we could cost up from there."

The meeting heard that the cost of individual cameras could be as little as - or event a lot less than - £6,000, and that it would be possible to move cameras around or add to their numbers as needed. Bradford started with about 50 cameras and now has 350.The anticipated start-up cost for Ilkley would be around £50,000 to £60,000 - but it is expected funding for this would come from a variety of sources.

All images would be sent via a server in Ilkley Town Hall to a control room in Bradford.

Coun Henri Murrison stressed that residents needed to be asked where they felt most vulnerable in order to decide where cameras would be needed. A number of people have already identified concerns over outlying areas such as Riverside Gardens.

In September Cllr Anne Hawkesworth and PC Hollings both called for the installation of security cameras.

PC Hollings said: "CCTV these days is paramount as an investigative tool in all crime types. It can make the difference between a detected crime and a missed opportunity. The police will always take primacy in dealing with crime but we cannot be everywhere all the time."