NEW CCTV cameras are set to be installed at a notorious pathway following a spate of assaults in recent months.

Security has already been stepped up at Banana Walk in Radcliffe, including increased police patrols, after a knife was found in a bush on the pathway.

Council officers have now visited the site and have drawn up a plan to install a three-way camera which would cover the top of the pathway and parts of the canal path too.

Cllr Rhyse Cathcart has asked for the new measures to be implemented at the earliest opportunity.

He said: “Reinstating public confidence in Banana Walk will encourage people to leave their cars at home and walk to work or school.

“This is an invest to save measure reducing financial pressures on the public resources in the longer term.

“However, more importantly than the savings is our wellbeing and feeling safe in and around the place where we live which is why this should be seen as a priority.”

Police issued a warning late last year, asking people to be on their guard if using the Banana Walk after two assaults took place within minutes of each other.

Two people were hit in the face on the towpath route on Saturday, December 21, between 5pm and 5.30pm.

Since then a police vehicle has often been stationed at the Spring Lane entrance, and officers have said there will be a “regular” presence in the area to improve visibility and reassurance.

There is already a working camera which covers the first 50 metres at the entrance of the Banana Walk on Spring Lane.

But Cllr Cathcart said the community neighbourhood policing team agree that more CCTV along the walk will help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and provide evidence which may lead to convictions in cases of prosecution.

He added: “This will allow the community to once again feel safe using what is a beautiful asset in our town.”

Final costings are being calculated and the plan has the support of the cabinet member for communities, Cllr Sharon Briggs.

A new community group has also been created to apply for funding for extra CCTV coverage at the Banana Walk.

The Radcliffe Banana Walk Community Group has been set up with the support of residents from the Green Bank Estate and a school governor from St Mary’s RC Primary School.

The constituted group has applied for money from the Standing Together Fund which is aimed at reducing crime and supporting community safety strategies.

But Cllr Cathcart believes these plans should be funded directly by Bury Council.

He said: “It seems that my challenge that this should be centrally funded has been heard and supported. I am pleased that we have been able to respond to the concerns of the police and community as promised, quickly and resolutely.”