Towns lose CCTV cash bid
FIVE towns in Suffolk have been refused money for the installation of CCTV cameras, it was announced yesterday.A bid for £130,000 for cameras in Aldeburgh, Framlingham, Leiston and Saxmundham has been rejected and a bid for £45,000 for five cameras in Woodbridge was also turned down by the Home Office.
By Richard Smith
FIVE towns in Suffolk have been refused money for the installation of CCTV cameras, it was announced yesterday.
A bid for £130,000 for cameras in Aldeburgh, Framlingham, Leiston and Saxmundham has been rejected and a bid for £45,000 for five cameras in Woodbridge was also turned down by the Home Office.
The bids were submitted with the support of Suffolk Coastal District Council and now alternative funding will have to be found or the towns will not have cameras.
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A partnership was formed on behalf of the four towns north of Woodbridge who wanted 14 mobile cameras to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
Terry Hodgson, chairman of the partnership, said: “That's disappointing. We've got other avenues we can follow but we were quite hopeful of the Home Office one.”
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He said they would next try to get lottery funding and if that failed then an attempt would be made to raise money from businesses.
John Rayner, Leiston Town Council clerk, said: “I'm sure that the councillors will be disappointed that this bid has been unsuccessful because we've been supporting it.
“But I don't think it's the end of it, just a setback.”
Chris Lucas, the new police inspector for the Leiston sector, which covers the four towns, had backed the project.
Sherrie Green, Suffolk Coastal's cabinet member for well-being, said: “This is extremely disappointing news as these were excellent schemes.
''The reality is that these towns are part of one of the safest districts in the country, but they do still have problems with vandalism and anti-social behaviour, more often than not fuelled by alcohol.
“These schemes could have helped cut crime and made our district feel even safer for all its residents.
“The very flexibility of the systems could help identify the very small minority whose actions are responsible for occasionally making our town centres appear noisy, rowdy places at night.
“They could also have been used to tackle a wide range of other issues affecting local communities such as fly-tipping.”
A spokesperson for the Government Office for the East of England said: “The funding offered through the Home Office's Regional Community Safety Fund is for the whole of the East of England.
''Therefore, we have to carefully prioritise bids for funding to ensure that the money has the most effective impact.
“This financial year we have offered the Suffolk Community Safety Partners £150,000 for projects intended to build community cohesion, tackle anti-social behaviour and provide increased CCTV coverage in certain areas.”
In Aldeburgh the town was divided over the installation of cameras. 345 people took part in a survey of which 53% voted against CCTV and last year the town council decided, by just one vote, that it did not want cameras.
However, the issue has been back on the agenda and the town council decided this month that it wanted to be part of the funding bid and, if the bid was successful, it would then decide if cameras were required.