Resort gets its first security cameras
By Jenni DixonSECURITY cameras have been installed in a genteel seaside town for the first time amid concerns over anti-social behaviour.Graham Dungey, who runs the King's Head pub in Southwold, has installed £8,000-worth of closed circuit television cameras on the premises.
By Jenni Dixon
SECURITY cameras have been installed in a genteel seaside town for the first time amid concerns over anti-social behaviour.
Graham Dungey, who runs the King's Head pub in Southwold, has installed £8,000-worth of closed circuit television cameras on the premises.
He has taken the step to improve security at the High Street pub and prove that late-night disorder in the upmarket town was not caused by his customers.
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“There is late-night rowdiness in the High Street, which by some is attributed to my customers,” said Mr Dungey.
“I live on the High Street and quite often I'm woken up myself when the pub is shut, empty or cleared, but I am working with the police to clamp down on late-night rowdiness and I think it's a positive for the community.”
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Four cameras have been installed outside of the premises, with a further eight inside the pub.
Regarding the internal cameras, Mr Dungey said they would help and his staff can see all areas of the four-room pub from the bar.
“Internally, there are areas of the pub where, because of its layout, cannot be seen from the bar and guidelines for sensible alcohol retailing recommend having all areas visible,” he added.
“It's not because of the pub we have got the cameras, it's for security and for our own peace of mind. I need to make sure it's easy for my team to work here.”
Southwold mayor, Geraldine Bryant, was appalled that a licensee had been moved to take this action, but hoped it would tackle any anti-social behaviour in the town.
“It is absolutely deplorable that behaviour is such that these things have to be considered. If some people are behaving anti-socially, perhaps these cameras will identify them or deter them,” she added.
Stephan Cornell, chairman of the town's chamber of trade and commerce, was cautious about the external cameras.
He said: “I think it's very important Mr Dungey protects himself against any possible rowdiness, but I'm not sure about them being outside as they could invade people's privacy while they go about their business.”
A spokeswoman for the pub's owner, Adnams Brewery in Southwold, said may of its licensees were installing cameras in advance of next year's Licensing Act, which will make them responsible for the area outside, as well as inside, their premises.
“We support initiatives that try to safely supervise our pubs and customers,” she added.
A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: “Police are working closely with licensees across the county as part of the ongoing campaign to try to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder and already we are seeing some success with this.
“In Southwold, there have only been a dozen crimes in August, down from 17 last year, and only three were violent and in all three cases someone has been dealt with.”