New CCTV cameras could be installed in Woodbridge businesses after spate of break-in’s
- Credit: Archant
A meeting was held last night with police to address concerns over the crimes.
Residents and business owners from Woodbridge gathered in the town’s Shire Hall to discuss the recent spate of burglaries and break-in’s in the area.
Members of Woodbridge’s Town Council led the session in conjunction with Inspector Andy Pursehouse from Suffolk Constabulary.
Inspector Pursehouse opened the meeting by confirming that the police were running with a number of leads in regards to the incidents and that these had been provided by CCTV images from the affected areas.
He also said and that police were exploring the possibility that the break-in at The Galley restaurant had been committed by different perpetrators to the four break-in’s on the Thoroughfare last weekend, due to the differing ways in which the crimes were committed.
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Police also believe that the suspects could be travelling into the town from other parts of the country.
Inspector Pursehouse did emphasise, however, that in some cases he couldn’t rule out the break-in’s being a local job.
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Despite this recent spike in burglaries Inspector Pursehouse said that the number of burglaries in the town was down by 16.1% between 2016 - 2017.
Residents then discussed with the inspector the best ways of securing their businesses and catching the perpetrators.
The installation of new CCTV cameras was highlighted as a potential way of detering suspects but also identifying suspects of any crimes committed.
As well as CCTV the possibility of installing new lights in the town or keeping street lights on later was raised by Galley restaurant owner Ugur Vatar who was concerned that any new cameras would struggle to capture good footage in poor light.
Woodbridge Mayor Clare Perkins said: “We can ask Suffolk County Council the question about keeping the lights on longer but the residents don’t want the lights on all night long.”
Residents also raised questions about the number of police and police community support officers (PCSOs) being stationed in the town and whether more could be seen to be visibly patrolling the area.
Inspector Pursehouse was able to confirm that the Woodbridge Safer Neighbourhood Team are using the Fire Station on Theatre Street and that three police community support officers were in the area during the day time.
He also confirmed that these three PCSOs cover 47 parishes but said that “their job is proactive”.
Inspector Pursehouse said that in terms of police officers, the force were able to move numbers around according to the need at the time: “We have response around the county. It could be huge numbers, it could be less. I do try to use my resources as effectively as I can.”
More patrols have been sent out to the area following the break-in’s with Inspector Pursehouse adding that most of these extra patrols were later at night when residents would be unable to see them.
He finished the meeting by emphasising the need for work to continue: “This is the start of the conversation, not the end.”
Members of the council and Choose Woodbridge are expected to start discussions with the police about the next steps for any CCTV installations with residents and charities eager to get involved.
The issue is also expected to be discussed at the Town Council’s next meeting on February 13 at 7pm.