BUSINESSES on Hamilton’s Castle Street have welcomed a new CCTV scheme which aims to curb anti-social behaviour.

Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused to shops in the area over the last year as vandals ran riot.

Their pleas have now been heard by Police Scotland and South Lanarkshire Council, who have agreed to set up the new cameras.

Shaheen Savarnejad runs comic and game store Settlers on Castle Street and, like his business’s neighbours, is relieved the cameras has finally been installed.

He said: “Mostly, I just feel that this is long overdue. It could have prevented a lot of issues from reoccurring.

“However, I am really glad that its finally happening and can only hope it reduces the number of the same people repeating antisocial behaviour on the street.”

Prior to the installation of the new scheme, Christina McKelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse and Hamilton North and East councillor Stephanie Callaghan visited businesses in Castle Street to find out about the ongoing anti-social behaviour problem.

After working with the police and council, the SNP politicians have welcomed the move which they hope will deter any future problems.

Ms McKelvie said: “I am delighted that the council have now installed new CCTV in the area.

“The behaviour those working in the businesses were experiencing was totally unacceptable and hopefully the new cameras, alongside the work of the community police will help to alleviate some of these problems.”

Cllr Callaghan added: “This is an incredibly welcome development in tackling some of the problems we have had in the area recently.

“Working with Christina to get this new CCTV up and running is just the first stage, we will make sure we keep in close contact with local businesses to make sure the situation continues to improve.”