Resort in line for security cameras
FELIXSTOWE could at last get crime-busting CCTV for its town centre and seafront – but it will not be monitored 24 hours a day.The working party looking into the project says that is the compromise the resort may have to accept because full-time surveillance is the biggest cost.
FELIXSTOWE could at last get crime-busting CCTV for its town centre and seafront – but it will not be monitored 24 hours a day.
The working party looking into the project says that is the compromise the resort may have to accept because full-time surveillance is the biggest cost.
But while transmissions from the closed-circuit television cameras will not be watched continuously, each will record what it sees and these will be made available to police every day.
More than 1,000 people have been campaigning in the town for CCTV but finding the cash to pay for the cameras has been a major problem.
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Suffolk Coastal has refused to fund a project though it did submit a bid to the Home Office for funding for a scheme.
But the £367,000 for 20 cameras – eight in Hamilton Road, ten on the seafront and two at the dock spur roundabout – and a link to police HQ for monitoring the network was refused. Annual running costs would have been £75,000.
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Now a task group has been set up to try to put in place a CCTV project and on April 3 it will meet with experts from two firms to talk about costs, the size of a scheme and other technical aspects.
Chris Slemmings, chairman of the Felixstowe Community Television (FCTV) initiative, said progress so far had been "very positive".
"Traders, councillors, crime reduction officers and community policing representatives have met and had some very useful discussions," he said.
"The next step is to talk to some providers of the sort of equipment we are thinking about to look at the status, quality and availability of the equipment, and likely costs, so we can draw up a specification for a scheme.
"There is quite a lot of enthusiasm for the project and it is quite heartening."
A report before the FCTV group suggested that "speedy police access to time-stamped recordings of good quality pictures could provide many of the benefits of CCTV at a fraction of the cost" without full-time monitoring.
It was accepted that CCTV would not rid an area of crime on its own and was not a substitute for effective community policing but would be a valuable addition to public safety and help the work of the police.
n What do you think – does Felixstowe need CCTV? Should it be monitored 24 hours a day? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk