New moves for CCTV in Suffolk town

FRESH moves are being made today to see if CCTV cameras can be installed in Woodbridge town centre to curb problems with vandalism and disorder.Officials say they are confident initiatives already under way are tackling the troubles which have beset the riverside town in the past six months, but closed-circuit TV cameras could be a great help.

FRESH moves are being made today to see if CCTV cameras can be installed in Woodbridge town centre to curb problems with vandalism and disorder.

Officials say they are confident initiatives already under way are tackling the troubles which have beset the riverside town in the past six months, but closed-circuit TV cameras could be a great help.

Nigel Barratt, chairman of the Woodbridge Local Implementation Group (LIG), part of Suffolk Coastal's crime and disorder reduction partnership, said various organisations were working with the police on solutions.

He said: "These include the Nightsafe project, the proposed ban on drinking alcohol in public areas in the town centre, plus the use of anti-social behaviour orders, and dispersal orders.

"Obviously, we could always do with more officers out on the beat, but I would commend the police who are doing all they can with their existing resources.

"We are reviewing once again the possible costs and funding sources for installing CCTV cameras in the town centre, which could be another useful tool in ridding the town centre of its current problems."

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During the six months leading up to November, there were five or six public disorder offences a week in Woodbridge – from petty vandalism to drunken behaviour and assault.

Thanks largely to the efforts of the police, the trend had not risen over the last few weeks, even allowing for the Christmas and New Year period.

Suffolk Coastal was recently officially revealed to be one of the ten safest districts in England and Wales based on comparisons of five of the most significant crimes.

Mr Barratt said: "Official statistics underline the fact that Woodbridge is a relatively safe town, but that does not mean that it does not have issues that concern residents and that need to be tackled."

The partnership group Woodbridge LIG includes representatives from the police, Suffolk Coastal, Woodbridge Town Council, community education, the drug action team, and a number of local voluntary organisations. There are also LIGs in Felixstowe and Leiston looking at community safety issues.

n Do you think CCTV is the answer – would you be willing to pay more council tax to fund it? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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