Volunteers to run CCTV scheme

NEW crime-busting CCTV cameras in Felixstowe will only be monitored at peak times - by a group of volunteers, it was revealed today.

Richard Cornwell

NEW crime-busting CCTV cameras in Felixstowe will only be monitored at peak times - by a group of volunteers, it was revealed today.

Police said the volunteers would be trained to spot incidents and able to alert officers so they could be deployed immediately.

Most towns have their cameras monitored 24 hours a day by professional teams - but Felixstowe has not been able to afford it.

The resort's network of four closed circuit television cameras costing £37,000 was officially launched today and is now live in the town centre and on the seafront.

Pictures from the cameras - one near the leisure centre, one at Bank Corner, another at The Triangle and the fourth at the northern end of Hamilton Road - will be beamed back to the police station in High Road West.

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Doreen Savage, chairman of the Felixstowe Community CCTV Partnership, said the system would be monitored at “peak periods” by a special volunteer group.

She said: “This will be an important additional tool to assist local police in working to combat and prevent crime and disorder.

“Thanks to the commitment and perseverance of the partnership, we now have four cameras in place that will keep an eye on what is going on in the seafront area between the leisure centre and the Spa Pavilion, and also around the shopping area in Hamilton Road.”

The scheme had been put in place thanks to Home Office funding and she thanked Felixstowe Town Council and Felixstowe Chamber of Commerce for agreeing to meet the running costs of the scheme.

While the CCTV system records all camera images 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the dedicated band of volunteers will provide the support by monitoring the service at peak times to make the service responsive to whatever is being caught on screen.

All the volunteers will have to undertake security checks and training before being allowed to perform their vital role.

Felixstowe Neighbourhood Inspector Steve Gallant said: “The system will be an invaluable tool in our continued fight against crime and disorder within our town.

“The use of CCTV not only allows us to identify offenders but more importantly acts as a significant deterrent for those with criminal intent that are looking for easy low risk targets across the region.

“Our newly recruited volunteer co-ordinators are working hard to recruit, train and deploy a group of able volunteers who will live monitor the system at key times. They will have the facility to direct police patrols to incidents occurring within the town.”

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