Traders speak of dismay

TRADERS spoke of their dismay that their community was left without proper CCTV coverage in two key town centre areas for 15 days.Their comments came as Stowmarket town councillors received a report from officers on part of the CCTV system covering the town.

TRADERS spoke of their dismay that their community was left without proper CCTV coverage in two key town centre areas for 15 days.

Their comments came as Stowmarket town councillors received a report from officers on part of the CCTV system covering the town.

The camera in Ipswich Street, outside the old Post Office, had no picture for 15 days and the unit in the Meadow Centre worked only partially for 15 days. It was unable to pan, although it was able to continue recording.

Town councillors, meeting at their chambers in Milton Road South, heard that the faults developed in the system between November 15 and December 11.

Local businesses are now concerned that they could be left without cover in the near future, at a time when Suffolk police is facing the biggest inquiry in its history, investigating the killing of five Ipswich prostitutes.

Pat Bewley, a Stowupland parish councillor and a senior salesman who has worked for years at Hicks Electrical town centre shop in Ipswich Street, which should have been covered by one of the cameras, was dismayed at the lack of coverage.

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He said: “Especially with what is going on in Ipswich now, our CCTV should be a top priority. We would like to see more cameras installed, with one in Church Walk, and the ones we have, working.

“They are very important, we have problems locally with drugs, bins being set alight, litter, and yobs.”

Colleagues at Hicks Electrical said the CCTV system was extremely useful as a deterrent and they were concerned that they had not been operational for more than two weeks.

Lesley Mayes, town councillor and former mayor, said: “Both those cameras are vitally important, providing an overall picture of what goes on in this town.”

A spokeswoman for the town council said that the downtime for repairs was longer than anticipated because the parts required had to be ordered, and no spares were available. She said the cameras are now operational again.

N What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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