Woodbridge CCTV campaign latest
MORE than 1700 people are campaigning for the installation of closed circuit television cameras to safeguard their town against criminals.Traders in Woodbridge are becoming increasingly concerned that thieves are being driven out of other towns, which have the crime prevention measure, and coming to Woodbridge.
MORE than 1700 people are campaigning for the installation of closed circuit television cameras to safeguard their town against criminals.
Traders in Woodbridge are becoming increasingly concerned that thieves are being driven out of other towns, which have the crime prevention measure, and coming to Woodbridge.
Three years ago the Home Office turned down a bid for funding 12 cameras costing £228,600 for Woodbridge with an annual running cost of £50,200. Now far cheaper schemes utilising Broadband technology are being considered for the town.
But shopkeepers and residents are keen to ensure that cameras are installed without delay and a petition organised by Pat O'Hagan attracted 1722 signatures.
Mrs O'Hagan, Spike Powell, chairman of the town's chamber of commerce, Nigel Barratt, county councillor, and shopkeepers presented the petition to Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer.
Mrs O'Hagan, a newsagent, said: “I and many other traders are most passionate with this issue. Crime has been increasing over the past year, which has resulted in many shop windows being smashed, stock stolen, leading in turn to further petty crime, and most recently an increase in drugs problems.
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“Both the town centre commerce and general public feel that the matter has escalated to an unacceptable level, and we feel that the way forward is for the installation of CCTV in the town centre which will help to remedy the depleted resources of the emergency services, as well as help the businesses within the town to keep their insurance premiums to a minimum.
“In addition, the town centre will become again a favoured place to shop and visit in the evenings, which can only be to the general good of the community, and specifically the town in general.”
Mr Gummer said he favoured the introduction of cameras and he said they could be sympathetically disguised in the town centre. Cameras in Colchester are inside lantern style brackets and Mr Gummer said they could be suitable for Woodbridge.
He will approach DEFRA (the department of environment, food and rural affairs) or the office of the deputy prime minister with the petition. Mr Gummer said money could be available from the Market Towns Initiative for cameras.
“It is remarkable to get 1,722 people to sign a petition and this is an extraordinarily good result. It is a very small town and this is a very high percentage of the population,” said Mr Gummer.