CCTV cameras have been installed in a town in a bid to identify more criminals.

The 20 cameras have gone up in the North Ormesby, Grove Hill and Gresham areas of Middlesbrough, with a further 16 due to be installed, bringing the total in the town to 166.

Mayor Andy Preston said it would help make Middlesbrough a better place to live. He said: "We aren't going to put up with trouble-makers, thugs and criminals causing problems and bringing Middlesbrough down.

"We are determined catch them and, if necessary, see them locked up. That will not only get them off the street to protect decent people but will send a very clear message to others involved in bad behaviour."

Another 12 static cameras will also be installed in central Middlesbrough following a "safer streets" grant, while four "rapid deployment" cameras can be moved around as required and will focus mainly on back alleys.

The cameras are all monitored from Middlesbrough bus station.

Middlesbrough Council is considering applications for a share of a £10,000 community grant to install smaller CCTV devices on private properties in known crime and antisocial behaviour hot-spots.

Mr Preston added: "We are taking the fight to the bad guys. We're dramatically increasing the number of cameras in trouble hot-spots but we have coverage right across the town.

"Soon we'll have 166 with many more on individual properties.

"This is all about helping make Middlesbrough safer, a better place to live and more successful as a destination.

"I'm well aware some people will see more cameras as an intrusion. I see them as helping decent people, freeing them from idiots and trouble-makers who damage their lives and our town.

"And if anyone doubts how effective CCTV is, let me tell them that camera footage has led to lots of arrests, prosecutions and frequently prison sentences."

The recent installations include a new £15,000 investment in Grove Hill, supported by housing groups Thirteen and Habinteg after previous cameras there were attacked and destroyed.

"We've installed this secure camera in an area of Grove Hill that has attracted problems in the past and even saw previous cameras destroyed," Mr Preston added.

"We're determined to capture the bad stuff that goes on there and make Grove Hill that little bit safer."

In recent weeks the cameras have been used to help arrest a man on suspicion of assaulting a woman in Henry Street, North Ormesby, to arrest a man on suspicion of being in possession of a bladed article, and to arrest two men following a stabbing in the town centre.

They have been also used to seize three bikes following reports of people using off-road bikes in the Thorntree, Brambles Farm and North Ormesby areas.