Camera car to help crack crime

POLICE in Felixstowe have a new weapon in their armoury to try to stop violent and drink-related anti-social behaviour.Officers have been issued with CCTV car, equipped with cameras front and back which will record incidents in the town.

POLICE in Felixstowe have a new weapon in their armoury to try to stop violent and drink-related anti-social behaviour.

Officers have been issued with CCTV car, equipped with cameras front and back which will record incidents in the town.

But they will not be using it secretly – and will be positioning it at trouble hotspots in order to deter people from misbehaving.

Sgt Mick Richardson, who is in charge of the community police team, said all the sectors in east Suffolk had been issued with one of the hi-tech cars.

"This will be an excellent asset for policing Felixstowe and we plan to make a lot of use of it – starting this Christmas and New Year season," he said.

"During the day we will use it as a normal police car and then in the evenings it can be left at places around the town to film what goes on.

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"It will be used as a deterrent and will be properly marked and highly conspicuous, and if people still choose to misbehave near it they will be captured on film, which will be useful for interview purposes and court."

The CCTV cameras record audio as well as pictures in colour and can also record with infrared for night-time work.

The car will form part of the Nightsafe partnership's work on the seafront where extra officers are on patrol over the festive season to ensure those enjoying themselves behave and families living nearby do not feel intimidated or have their lives made a misery by drink-related incidents.

Det Ch Insp Phil Aves said officers were committed to tackling alcohol-related crime and were working with licensed premises, councils, residents groups and other organisations to promote "sensible drinking".

They were keeping a close eye on likely hot spots for disorder and damage, such as the seafront and town centre and routes home from clubs and pubs.

"Often the perception of violent crime is of random stranger attacks causing serious injury," said Det Ch Insp Aves.

"In reality more than 30 per cent of all crimes classified as violence against the person do not involve any injury to the victim and around 80pc of all violent crime offences involve people who know each other.

"Through our research and experience, we know the most common scenario for violence in a public place is white males, aged 18 to 25, who are known to one another, with one or both under the influence of alcohol on a Friday or Saturday night – and patrols will continue to be targeted to try to reduce these problems.

"We want people to enjoy themselves and to have a good time, but there needs to be consideration for others and we will take action against anyone who threatens to spoil it for the rest."

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