Members of the public are the new eyes behind CCTV in Truro, Falmouth and Penryn, after a new team of volunteers stepped forward to monitor the cameras .

Believed to be the first of its kind of this size in Devon and Cornwall, the initiative is part of a partnership involving Truro, Falmouth and Penryn Town Councils, together with Cornwall Council and Devon and Cornwall Police.

So far, 10 volunteers have been recruited to monitor the CCTV cameras at a central monitoring centre in Truro.

Organisers say that the scheme is proving to be such a success that more volunteers are being sought.

A spokesman says that the use of trained operators in this way "supplements the current operation and increases the number of hours the cameras are being monitored".

Adding: "All of the new volunteers have been subject to strict security checks and have received professional training to national standards. They each give up at least four hours of their time each week."

The team is made up of people of varying ages and backgrounds, including retired people, a student, an IT specialist and part-time workers.

Steve Parr, community safety Sergeant for West Cornwall: “We are delighted at the success of this project which has only been made possible through all of the relevant agencies working together.

“We have received excellent feedback from local traders and Chamber of Commerce who recognise the importance of maximising the use of CCTV equipment in our towns and cities.

“Our volunteers come from all walks of life and range in age from people in their 20s to those in their 60s.

“They are finding their new roles extremely rewarding in the knowledge that they are playing an active part in making their communities safer places to live and work.

“We are now looking to increase the scheme even further and I would urge anyone who may be interested to contact me on 01209 611379.”