Dedicated PCSO to better CCTV - thoughts sought to tackle village crime
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Improving security measures could cost people living in Claydon up to an extra £55 a year if they choose to fund a new community police officer dedicated to the village.
Claydon and Whitton Parish Council has set out the "knock-on cost" as it looks at its policing and security strategy in response to concerns from residents about low-level crime such as antisocial behaviour, speeding and illegal parking.
Suffolk Constabulary has said reported incidents in the village were too low to warrant extra measures.
As a result, the council is now consulting residents on how much they would pay for further security measures.
The priciest option would be to pay for a dedicated police community support officer (PCSO) for Claydon, which would cost approximately £37,000 plus the cost of a car.
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This would see the council's precept increase by 95% or £50 more a year for a band D property in the first year, but there may be scope to work with surrounding parishes for a shared officer.
Steven Wells, the parish councillor representing Whitton Rural, said: "We want to understand what the community want and need. We don't know if there's an actual crime problem and things aren't being reported, or if it's a fear of crime that's driving these concerns, but either way by asking the question we can begin to put resolutions in place."
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Another option would be to employ the use of a security company to potentially work 12 hours a week over six days, including evenings.
This would be at a cost of £9,400 in the first year, an increase to the precept by 25pc, or an extra £15.
Better lighting and CCTV at the recreation is among the final option proposing increase physical security measures in hotspots. This is being explored at £5,000 - or an extra £5 a year for a band D property.
Mr Wells added: "Some of the things that neighbouring councils have introduced to tackle crime, such as employing their own PCSO or bringing in a security company, are incredibly expensive.
"That doesn't mean our parish council isn't happy to adopt the same, but there would be a knock-on cost that we want residents to understand.
"The income for the council is around £45,000 per year and with that we have a lot to cover, from graveyard maintenance to dog mess bins and street lighting.
"Feedback will give us a starting point. From that we can understand what is wanted and be open and transparent about what needs to happen next, whether that's working closer with neighbourhood watch or looking to increase the precept to support one of the more costly proposals."
Claydon and Whitton residents can share their thoughts by contacting any parish councillor or the clerk on email@example.com or 07887 459989.
You can also attend upcoming parish council meetings to feedback on October 18 or November 1.