More cameras for red light district

ANYONE trying to escape detection by the police in Ipswich's red-light district now has an even tougher job ahead of them, thanks to an expansion of CCTV coverage in the area.

ANYONE trying to escape detection by the police in Ipswich's red-light district now has an even tougher job ahead of them, thanks to an expansion of CCTV coverage in the area.

Nearly £100,000 has been spent on increasing the number of cameras which monitor streets in the area.

Most of the money came from £75,000 from the Home Office following the killings of five sex workers in Ipswich last year.

Today Ipswich Borough Council said residents of the town should feel an increased reassurance that they have a friendly eye watching over them following the installation of the new cameras.

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Jim Manning, head of Ipswich Borough Council's community safety unit, said: “We're not taking away civil liberties. We're giving people back their civil liberty to be able to walk around the town at night safely.

“We're giving the police the opportunity to observe areas where there's a lot of public usage.”

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Over recent weeks new permanent cameras have been installed at Barrack Corner where Portman Road meets London Road and at the junction of Portman Road and Handford Road.

Another has been placed on Civic Drive near the Handford Road roundabout to replace a camera which had to be removed from the now empty Civic Centre.

A mobile camera is also to be placed in London Road, which is at the centre of efforts to solve Ipswich's street prostitution problem.

The cameras are adding to the borough council's broad CCTV coverage of the area around the red-light district.

The council says they will help monitor crowd activity on football match days and an increase safety at night.

It has a team of monitors who keep watch 24 hours a day and alert police to incidents in the town.

Mr Manning said: “The cameras are not there purely for red-light issues. They're also there for the general criminality.”

As well as money from the Home Office, the extra cameras were funded through £21,000 provided by three county councillors, Tony Lewis, Andrew Cann and Inga Lockington, who used part of their annual councillor budgets to help pay for the work.

Suffolk police today welcomed the extra CCTV and Superintendent Alan Caton, southern area operations manager, said: “CCTV is an ever increasing tool for police. It not only provides reassurance to law-abiding members of the public but when offences are committed it provides valuable evidence to identify offenders and also helps to convict them.”

Do you support the increased use of CCTV? Do you feel safe at night in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

The CCTV net gets wider

AS well as the new cameras which are being installed, there another already located in London Road opposite Victoria Street while Handford Road now has three mobile cameras monitoring activity in the road.

The area around Portman Road is heavily monitored thanks to cameras operated by Ipswich Town Football Club, as well as cameras placed on nearby business, including the AXA buildings, which cover the car parks in the road.

Sir Alf Ramsey Way and Portman's Walk are covered by CCTV, as are the Alderman Road play area and Alderman Road recreation ground.

There is another in Russell Road outside the Staples store and cameras on IBC's Grafton House headquarters and Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House headquarters ensure that road is well covered.

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