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Traders tell of dismay

PUBLISHED: 20:49 31 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 March 2010

TRADERS have spoken of their dismay after learning the installation of £365,000 of security cameras has been delayed.

Eleven closed circuit television cameras are due to be installed in Stowmarket, including the town centre and car parks, in an attempt to reduce crime.

TRADERS have spoken of their dismay after learning the installation of £365,000 of security cameras has been delayed.

Eleven closed circuit television cameras are due to be installed in Stowmarket, including the town centre and car parks, in an attempt to reduce crime.

The new cameras were due to be installed last month, but it has now been revealed they are not due to be operational until February.

They have been funded through a £287,000 grant from the Home Office, as well as contributions from a number of organisations including Mid Suffolk District, Suffolk County and Stowmarket Town Councils.

Richard Wallis, chairman of the town's chamber of commerce, said: "It's a nuisance to have it delayed, a shame. The cameras will make a real difference, improving security in the town. We all want to be safer."

But he added: "I believe part of the delay is that they have been looking at more advanced cameras than the originals and we do need proper equipment."

Stowmarket mayor John Drake said it would have been ideal to have the cameras in place by the end of this year.

He added: "But there have been one or two changes in the specs and there is a determination to get it done properly.

"There has never been a cut-off point and rather than hurry it through and not get an ideal system, we want to get it right.

"We have been looking at cameras which give better images in poor light. If that costs us a couple of months, that's all right with me."

Nigel Smithson, executive director with Mid Suffolk District Council, confirmed the installation of the cameras had been deferred until February.

"It's not so much technical, but a timescale which was excessively optimistic. It was failed to realise the amount of legal arrangements needed," he explained.

Mr Smithson said a number of legalities had to be gone through to put the camera poles on public highways and private land.


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