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Traders demand CCTV in town

PUBLISHED: 17:30 29 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:36 03 March 2010

A NEW trader in Woodbridge has told of his disappointment in the town and has joined the fight for CCTV after becoming a victim of a distraction burglary.

A NEW trader in Woodbridge has told of his disappointment in the town and has joined the fight for CCTV after becoming a victim of a distraction burglary.

Tim Burrows set up his optician shop in the Thoroughfare, with business partner William Sunaway, barely two weeks ago, but has already lost hundreds of pounds after a group of men walked out of the shop with several pairs of Gucci frames.

He claims that if CCTV had been available the men may have been captured on camera somewhere in the town and could have been arrested for their crime.

Mr Burrows of Burrows and Sunaway opticians said his wife, 23-year-old Jana, had been in the shop when the gang, aged in their mid to late 20s walked in and one requested to try on some sunglasses.

He said: "My wife was not aware of what was happening until three of them had gone and she saw the last one going and noticed he had some glasses hanging out of his pocket.

"She approached him about it and then he panicked and gave them back."

Mrs Burrows was not hurt in the incident but was shaken.

Until stocks are fully checked, Mr Burrows said that he is not sure exactly how much money has been lost by the burglary but he estimated that it could top £300.

Having worked across the county in various opticians, 30-year-old Mr Burrows said he had never experienced this before.

He said: "We were very disappointed – we did not expect this of Woodbridge when we came here.

"We do have lockable display cases but when someone comes in and wants to try a pair on you have to unlock them and it is like a lamb to the slaughter."

Mr Burrows reported the matter to the police and fortunately his quick thinking wife remembered which frames the men had tried on and not stolen so fingerprints can be taken.

His call is one among many in the long running wrangle over CCTV in Woodbridge.

Although Suffolk Coastal backed the scheme to install 12 cameras at a cost of £228,600 with an annual running cost of £50,200, the Home Office turned down a bid for money and then Woodbridge Town Council also opposed the scheme.

They decided not to give any financial support on the grounds that Suffolk has one of the lowest crime rates and a high detection rate.

Some councillors also felt that having 12 cameras in the town may make people feel scared to leave their homes.

But in August, following a spate of vandalism in the town, traders warned it could become a no-go zone if CCTV was not introduced.

The town council has now called an open meeting on October 23, attended by Woodbridge Police to discuss the cost of installing CCTV.

The meeting will also cover general crime issues raised by the town's residents.

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