Traders want CCTV to stop vandals

HALESWORTH shopkeepers believe closed circuit television cameras could be the answer to problems with vandalism in the town centre.The town is relatively free of crime, but does suffer from occasional spates of destruction.

HALESWORTH shopkeepers believe closed circuit television cameras could be the answer to problems with vandalism in the town centre.

The town is relatively free of crime, but does suffer from occasional spates of destruction.

Flower baskets have been targeted and roadwork barriers have persistently been knocked down overnight, while gas mains were being installed in the Thoroughfare.

The Waveney Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership is currently considering the possibility of getting a wire-free CCTV system for different locations throughout Waveney, including Halesworth.


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District and town councillor Bob Niblett raised the possibility of getting CCTV cameras for the Thoroughfare at a town council meeting last month after he was approached by shopkeepers about the idea.

The town council agreed to write to Waveney District Council to inquire about the wire free CCTV initiative.

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He said: "A few weeks ago, there was a run of weekend silly vandalism. We feel we have got to do something to cut this silly vandalism in the street."

His suggestion was to provide cameras at each end of the Thoroughfare.

Town councillor Ezra Leverett said: "If it's going to provide additional security to the centre of the town to reassure both people who live and work in the Thoroughfare then I think we should go for it."

"We are very lucky. The level of crime we have is fairly low. It's the mindless stupidity of the people who tear hanging baskets down."

He added: "I would support it providing we could make sure there is someone there to take action on it."

James Hayward, who runs a second hand bookstore in the Thoroughfare, said: "I thought to myself, the solution to it is a camera. I have had a look, and I reckon you could do the whole Thoroughfare with three."

He felt the idea could work as a deterrent, with or without film in the cameras.

Richard Rhodes, leaseholder at The Angel Hotel in the Thoroughfare, believed CCTV could help, and dummy cameras could also be used to deter those from out of town.

He said: "It certainly would be a deterrent. It would certainly help. It would not solve it completely."

Alan Osbourne, community safety assistant with Waveney Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, said they were looking at the possibility of trying out a wire-free CCTV system in the district on a month's free trial.

The £10,000 system runs on mobile phone technology, and cuts out the need for high cost cabling to rural areas. Conventional CCTV cameras cost in the region of £20,000.

The system would be connected to Lowestoft, which is currently the only town in Waveney with a CCTV system in operation. The system is Government-funded and has 24 hour monitoring.

The idea is that the images from the Halesworth CCTV could be monitored from dedicated control room at Lowestoft, doing away with the need for extra manpower, explained Mr Osbourne. It could be set up in different towns and locations in Waveney.

"If it works, we will then possibly look at funding it. It's a serious proposition and we have, through the Partnership, identified funds to purchase this system, but we want to see whether it works properly."

They did not yet know where they would be putting it for the trial, he said.

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