CCTV to target crime hotspots

COMMUNITY leaders will next week be shown how Felixstowe's new closed circuit television system will work - with mobile cameras set to target crime and disorder hotspots at the resort.

COMMUNITY leaders will next week be shown how Felixstowe's new closed circuit television system will work - with mobile cameras set to target crime and disorder hotspots at the resort.

Police will be able to move the cameras around the town to use them in areas where there are particular problems, especially in the west, north and south wards.

Doreen Savage, chairman of the Felixstowe Community CCTV Initiative, said £36,500 government funding had been offered for a project and on December 12 the group would meet representatives from a company which might supply the four mobile cameras.

“We have been discussing the issue of CCTV in Felixstowe for many years but now the costs have fallen and we feel this scheme is potentially far better than anything we have had before,” she said.

“It is a huge leap from where we were to now be close to getting something which could work and bring real benefits in dealing with problems the police have highlighted.”

Rather than constant monitoring, the cameras will record images onto computer hard drives - and the pictures will be good enough for the police to use as court evidence.

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West ward councillor Mike Ninnmey welcomed the project, and hoped the cameras would be used in his area to tackle problems of anti-social behaviour.

“We all know where the hot-spots are for crime - disorder, criminal damage and so on - and to be able to have cameras there to give the police something to run with in future investigations will be excellent,” he said.

“I am sure it will reassure residents, too, and the cameras can be moved as and when they are needed so it will keep everyone on their toes.”

In the 12 months up to March 2006 there were 477 incidents of criminal damage in the south, west and north wards of the resort, more than a quarter of all these offences in Suffolk Coastal.

Cabinet member Sherrie Green said: “It should be stressed the offences we are tackling are largely criminal damage to property or cars. However, these are not victimless crimes and it is right we do all we can to either prevent this type of mindless vandalism occurring, or to catch those doing it.”

What do you think of the possible use of mobile CCTV cameras in Felixstowe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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