Sudbury community wardens issued with body worn cameras in bid to fight anti-social behaviour
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A west Suffolk town council has equipped its wardens with new body worn cameras in a bid to fight anti-social behaviour in the community.
Sudbury Town Council says the move to adopt a body worn camera policy will enable its community wardens to tackle various issues in the town more effectively.
The new body cameras will be used in cases of aggressive behaviour and any offenders will be warned that the video evidence may be used in prosecutions.
Sudbury’s community wardens will be increasing patrols of the town with the new equipment as well as in other local parishes such as Lavenham, Great Waldingfield, Great Cornard, and Chilton.
The wardens will be able to issue warning notices to illegally parked vehicles and anyone seen dropping litter or allowing dogs to foul in public areas will be warned and advised of the consequences of their actions.
The move has been welcomed by community leaders and police.
Christina Campbell, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The community warden scheme is an opportunity to fight anti-social behaviour in the heart of the community, and Sudbury’s drive and commitment to the scheme has always been inspiring.
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“The new body worn camera policy will allow community wardens to deal with anti-social individuals with confidence that the offenders will not be able to dismiss their descriptions as inaccurate or overblown.”
Danny Cooper, local policing inspector for Sudbury, said: “We already work closely with the community wardens and other partners in Sudbury so I am really supportive of this plan.
“Given some of the other priorities that police officers are working on, this scheme will ensure that all issues will continue to receive attention and we will support the wardens when required.
“Police officers have recently been issued with body worn video cameras and although still new, the initial feedback has been really positive around securing evidence and encouraging people to behave appropriately.
“Footage also clearly shows the impact that some behaviour can have, which is sometimes difficult to describe in a traditional written statement.”
Jacqui Howells, Sudbury town clerk, said: “The new body worn cameras will assist town council staff in encouraging people to be proud of the community and be aware of their environment.
“Littering in our towns and countryside is an increasing problem and we need to get tougher on repeat offenders.
“The cameras will also be effective when our staff receive abuse for managing road closures during town events and other emergency situations.”