CCTV boost for shopping parade

CCTV has been installed in a Chantry shopping parade in a bid to combat anti-social behaviour.Almost every night, gangs of youths loiter outside the shops in Lavender Hill and many customers find their presence intimidating.

CCTV has been installed in a Chantry shopping parade in a bid to combat anti-social behaviour.

Almost every night, gangs of youths loiter outside the shops in Lavender Hill and many customers find their presence intimidating.

Some youngsters are thought to be responsible for growing levels of crime and vandalism and it is hoped that the added security will deter them from gathering in the area.

Chantry Residents' Association began fundraising for the camera in November – business at their Community Shop was under threat and CCTV seemed like the only option.


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Chairman John Haddock said: "There were a certain amount of problems with kids being a nuisance – they were stopping residents using the shop by pulling down shutters and causing vandalism.

"The police believed that CCTV would help so we approached local companies for funding but we kept getting turned down."

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The group asked county councillor Sue Thomas for help and she agreed to give £11,000 of her locality budget to the project.

As councillor for Chantry she has attended residents' association meetings and had already agreed to match any business funding with her budget.

She said: "It was unfortunate that they couldn't get the money from these companies – it is probably just that the groups asked are asked fairly often.

"Hopefully the camera will safeguard the community shops – I think it should improve the area enormously.

"I hope it will not move the problem elsewhere and will make people feel safer.

"Large numbers of youths can, whether intentional or not, be intimidating.

"Hopefully this will encourage youngsters to the local youth club."

Since posters have gone up advertising the arrival of CCTV, Peter has noticed an improvement in the area.

He added: "We are very pleased, congregation outside the shops has reduced and there has been a drop in vandalism – we think this is going to help."

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