A NOTORIOUS underpass plagued by muggings and sexual assaults will be fitted with new CCTV cameras after years of campaigning by local residents.
The Telfer Subway will be monitored around the clock after cameras are fitted later this year.
Funds for the £50,000 project are expected to be approved by city councillors next week, with two cameras likely to be installed within the Dalry-Fountainbridge tunnel.
Last month a petition containing hundreds of signatures was submitted to the city council, just three weeks after an indecent assault on a 22-year-old woman on August 6.
In December council chiefs ruled out the new cameras because of a shortage of cash, but the new Labour administration said £50,000 had become available due to a number of contracts for roads works coming in under budget.
The cameras will be linked to a central control centre which already overseas the city’s camera network.
Lothian MSP Sarah Boyack, who has worked with campaigners to highlight the need for CCTV, said: “I am in no doubt that the council’s decision has been influenced by the strength of feeling locally and I would like to thank the 300-plus people who added their support to the petition.
“The police have acknowledged the additional benefits that CCTV will bring, both as a deterrent from crime and as an aid to identifying and apprehending suspects.”
The Telfer Subway has been the scene of a substantial number of incidents in recent years.
In 2009, a woman was subjected to an seven-hour sex attack after being dragged from the subway to a makeshift den nearby. Polish cousins Michal Marchlewski, 21, and Tomasz Kryczyk, 26, were later arrested for the crime. Marchlewski was sentenced to ten years in jail. Kryczyk hanged himself in prison while awaiting trial.
Last November a teenage girl was pinned against a wall for ten minutes as a group of thugs punched and kicked her boyfriend, Michael Tait, 24, unconscious and stole an iPhone.
Cate Taylor, 31, a solicitor from Dalry who has been among those campaigning for the coverage said: “As a single women living in the Dalry area I’m very pleased to see the council is taking steps to tackle what has become a persistent problem. Personally, I’m not sure why this didn’t happen when there was that terrible attack several years ago.
“Local people know of various muggings as well as sexual offences during the day. Hopefully this will be both a deterrent but will also help the police identify any offenders.”
Cammy Day, the city’s community safety leader, said: “Only the other month there was another serious incident and so we are working as a matter of urgency to ensure these cameras are installed before the end of the year.