CCTV could be new weapon to tackle Waterfront trouble

WATERFRONT: CCTV cameras could be installed along the Waterfront in a bid to crackdown on rising levels of vandalism and anti-social behaviour, The Evening Star can reveal today.

The measure, which will cost in the region of �80,000, has been backed by businesses in the area following an increase in disorder around the quayside – much of which is booze-fuelled.

Cameras already scour the town centre, providing police and the borough council with an extra pair of eyes when trouble erupts.

Now proposals are in place to install up to ten cameras along the Waterfront after a fibre link unit was added in the area thanks to funding from the Home Office.

If the cash to install the additional cameras is secured, they would be placed at locations near Stoke Bridge, DanceEast, Pizza Express, Isaacs on the Quay and Ashton Graham.

Quayside businesses lent their support for the scheme at a recent Waterfront Business Forum, with many highlighting growing concerns over anti-social behaviour.

In July, The Star reported how calls had been made for an extra police presence following a number of reports of drunken behaviour from night-time revellers.

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Jim Manning, Ipswich Borough Council’s community safety manager, said although the process was expensive some of the funding had already been secured.

“At the moment we have a preliminary proposal to put eight cameras around the Waterfront area,” he added.

“As it stands we have the fibre links on the Waterfront to put in up to ten cameras and really that is what we would need to properly cover the extent of the area.

“We are now in the process of building up the next stage which is funding the cameras – realistically we’re looking for another �5,000 to �8,000 per camera site. To have around �80,000 funding would mean we could complete all of the cameras – it is an expensive process.”

However, one Waterfront business owner, Anthony Coe of the John Russell Gallery, said that the proposed camera locations did not cover a wide enough area.

He said: “Although it is a step in the right direction – I don’t think it is a step far enough.

“Wherry Lane needs to be included in these plans because it is very dark and during the night if ever anything was going to happen it would happen around there.”

James Young, Waterfront manager for the borough, welcomed the introduction of CCTV.

“The Waterfront is a safe location to work, live and socialise but the introduction of CCTV would be another step towards keeping the Waterfront as an aspirational location for all to enjoy,” he said.

“Safe systems are in place but anything to enhance these as in the past with the town centre would be beneficial and is in line with the council strategy for the area.”

n Do you think CCTV on the Waterfront is vital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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