Sunday, 19 January 2020

CCTV cameras to tackle minor crime problem

CCTV cameras to tackle minor crime problem

HENLEY Town Council is considering installing more CCTV cameras in response to incidents of antisocial behaviour.

It is in the process of obtaining quotes from companies for redeployable cameras at Makins recreation ground and Freemans Meadow in the hope of detecting and deterring low-level crime. Incidents of vandalism have been recorded at both places.

Redeployable systems feature standalone cameras, which are attached to street lights from which they take their power.

They can be easily moved between locations and are considered to be more cost-effective than permanent installations.

In order to install CCTV in public parks, the council is required to adopt a policy covering areas such as privacy and data protection.

In a report to the council’s finance strategy and management committee, town clerk Sheridan Jacklin-Edward said: “We are looking into the possibility. It is not certain at the moment but if there is going to be any CCTV put in place, we need to make sure we have a robust policy.”

Councillor Will Hamilton said all new developments should be required to have CCTV as part of their planning permission.

He referred to the planned redevelopment of council-owned land off Reading Road near Tesco.

He said: “This council should look to have it from the outset rather than looking at it afterwards, which would be more expensive.

“Any major projects should be considering CCTV as part of the development.”

Last month, the council’s recreation and amenities committee discussed the possibility of installing mobile CCTV devices in crime hot spots.

A portable camera, which would store up to 30 days’ worth of footage, could cost £2,500. The images can be viewed remotely over a wireless internet connection. The device would be housed in a vandal-resistant case and could be attached to street furniture.

The council has previously asked South Oxfordshire District Council, which operates a number of CCTV cameras in Henley, to consider adding more but the idea was rejected on the grounds of cost.

Permanent CCTV cameras were among the solutions proposed following complaints about antisocial behaviour at the skate park in Makins recreation ground in the summer.

According to official crime data, there were nine cases of antisocial behaviour in Henley in October and 16 incidents involving violent or sexual offences.

There were also 11 reports of criminal damage, four burglaries and eight vehicle-related crimes.

If adopted, the CCTV policy would be published on the town council’s website and regularly reviewed.

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley or email letters

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