CCTV has been installed in Keighley’s Town Hall Square.

The move comes after a string of thefts and incidents of vandalism and anti-social behaviour at the award-winning site.

A camera now has sweeping views of the square and images will be monitored 24/7.

Behind the move is Keighley Town Council, which earmarked up to £6,000 for CCTV equipment at the prime plot. Three more cameras are due to be provided.

Security has been ramped-up in a bid to curb criminal activities in the square.

The spate of attacks has seen damage to bins, benches and floral displays.

Even the war memorial has come under attack – last autumn the bayonet attached to a soldier’s statue was targeted by thugs, sparking an angry reaction from serving and former military personnel, and wreaths have been stolen from the railings.

In the first five months of this year, more than 160 plants in the square’s flowerbeds – which have won accolades from Yorkshire in Bloom – were taken or damaged.

Councillor John Kirby – chairman of the town council’s allotments and landscapes committee, which oversees the running and maintenance of the square – said he was delighted that CCTV was now in place.

“I’ve been working for some time with fellow councillor Michael Westerman to secure CCTV due to the vandalism and anti-social behaviour that has been taking place in Town Hall Square,” he said.

“The images will be monitored by Bradford Council and hopefully with this system now in place, it will stop the thefts and other anti-social activities. Anyone thinking of committing a criminal act should think twice – you’re now being watched!”

Cllr Westerman, former chairman of the town council’s watch and transport committee, hoped the CCTV would also help workers and members of the public using the square feel safer.

“About four years ago I made a promise that we would provide cameras where they are needed in the town,” he said.

“We have continued to roll-out the CCTV coverage and I’m pleased that Town Hall Square is now included.

“This is just the first phase for the square, but it’s an important step and significantly it’s linking in with the Airedale Centre cameras so it provides connected coverage.”

Cllr Westerman added: “Town Hall Square is one of the best squares of its kind anywhere in the country and is a jewel in the crown for Keighley.

“A lot of time and money goes into maintaining the site and we want to ensure it remains a place where people can sit and enjoy the surroundings and where people can work without fear of abuse. The incidents that have occurred, especially those involving the war memorial, are totally unacceptable.”