The installation of the long-awaited CCTV system in key crime hotspots in Marbella is under way.
The first area to get its round-the -clock surveillance equipment will be the Elviria shopping centre in the east of the municipality. Here 16 cameras will monitor activity.
A further 69 cameras will go up in three other areas of Marbella by the end of the year. In Puerto Banús, 50 cameras will be operating both along the quayside and the streets behind; in the Puerto Deportivo marina, by Marbella old town, eight cameras will monitor activity; and 11 cameras will be set up near the traffic entrance to La Cañada shopping mall. All four areas have been chosen because they have a higher- than-normal incidence of street crime, such as robberies and assaults, and of drug-related offences.
The new network marks the culmination of a 13-year campaign by Marbella's business community to improve security with CCTV. Permission was finally given by central government at the end of 2016 and the contract to supply the cameras was then put out to tender.
The town-hall controlled Local Police, who will watch the images, have stressed that monitoring arrangements will meet legal requirements and pictures will be kept for a maximum of a month, except for those sequences needed in connection with a reported crime.
Marbella's councillor for Public Works, Javier García, said that Elviria had been chosen as the first of the sites to get the cameras so as not to disrupt the other three areas in peak tourist season.
Head of the Local Police, Enrique Lamelas, said: "The police's job is to prevent, and what better way to prevent than with CCTV in these areas."