Calls for CCTV in raid hit town

FELIXSTOWE'S lack of CCTV is making the town a “soft target” for criminals, it was claimed today.

FELIXSTOWE'S lack of CCTV is making the town a “soft target” for criminals, it was claimed today.

Police today continue to hunt for two balaclava-clad armed robbers who are understood to have got away with £26,000 takings from Woolworth after tying up two staff.

Doreen Savage, leader of the resort's CCTV task group, said cameras were needed, especially as Felixstowe was now one of the few large towns without closed-circuit cameras.

Mrs Savage said: “Some people are now saying it is making Felixstowe a soft target.

“If we had CCTV it would act as a big deterrent to this kind of criminal activity and people would think twice about it.

“Other towns have CCTV and we are lagging behind.”

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Detectives say they have appealed to the public for any details of suspicious activity in the area around the store at the time of the robbery around 6am Monday, and also in the previous few days in case the robbers were gathering information in preparation for their attack.

The men - one with a knife and the other wielding a baton-type weapon - burst into the Hamilton Road store through its rear delivery entrance in Highfield Road while staff were waiting for an early morning delivery of Christmas goods.

They tied up a woman in her 50s and a man in his 20s and stole around £26,000 from the safe.

The staff are currently off work and are said to be unhurt but very shaken by their ordeal. They are being offered specialist counselling.

Mrs Savage said: “The great irony is that we have the money for a CCTV scheme and we had hoped it would be up and running by last July.

“The idea was to put a signal repeater station up on the roof of the cinema and bingo hall. This had been agreed with the owners and we understood the site would be given to the town for free, but then they demanded £4,500 a year rent.

“This has delayed the whole project and we are waiting.”

Efforts are under way to find another suitable site - a building with clear sightlines to the system's main base at Felixstowe police station.

Patrick Duffy, managing director of the Palace bingo and cinema in Crescent Road, was not available for comment.

Do you think Felixstowe needs CCTV? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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