'Honest' town snubs CCTV

CLOSED circuit television cameras will not be installed in a Suffolk town after councillors narrowly voted against the introduction of the crime prevention measure.

By Richard Smith

CLOSED circuit television cameras will not be installed in a Suffolk town after councillors narrowly voted against the introduction of the crime prevention measure.

Aldeburgh Town Council decided by a majority of one vote not to bring in cameras into the town and, under council rules, it will be at least six months before the controversial topic can be discussed again.

The decision was taken after town councillors were given the results of a straw poll conducted in the town by the Aldeburgh Gazette.


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Surveys were held in four shops and the town centre post office over a three-week period. A total of 345 people registered their votes with 53% voting against CCTV and 47% in favour.

The surveys at MCT Electrical, the Saxmundham Road Co-op, post office and Baggotts newsagents all showed a majority in favour of cameras but the result was completely different at the Aldeburgh bookshop where 16 people voted in favour and 88 were against.

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The town council held a special meeting to discuss CCTV. Councillors did not discuss the financial implications of bringing in cameras - this would only have been analysed if there had been a vote in their favour.

Tony Graham-Enock, meeting chairman, said: ''There are two strong bodies of opinion in the town. The results of the survey are pretty evenly split so I think it is down to us as a council to make a decision that will affect the town.''

The nearby towns of Framlingham, Leiston and Saxmundham could receive CCTV and Mr Graham-Enock warned: ''If other towns do install cameras then generally we will suffer and other people will think we will become an easy target. I think our responsibility is to make this town centre a more attractive place to live in.''

Cllr T-J Collier said she had spoken to 200 people about the crime prevention measure, adding: ''I only had three people who said no. People said it was a really, really good thing especially in the summer time.

''They commented that it is a good deterrent and they are worried about other towns getting it and we do not.''

Cllr David Curry warned that people living in the Fort Green area of Aldeburgh were fed up with the antics of young motorists racing around the streets but Cllr Bill Richardson said the installation of CCTV was an extreme measure to deal with problems in the town.

''This town is one of the most honest places in Suffolk and there is no need for it at the moment,'' he said.

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