Closer watch on crime hotspots

Crime
Crime

Newly-purchased mobile CCTV cameras have been installed in Linslade to tackle anti-social behaviour at vandalism hotspots.

Two redeployable cameras have been bought by Leighton-Linslade Town Council, with one installed at Vimy Road/Leighton Road, and the other placed on the junction of Church Road and New Road.

The action comes in light of a recent spate of crime, including the town’s beautiful flower displays being ripped up along Vimy Road, whilst Church Road is recovering from a series of attacks on residents’ cars. In one incident last month around 10 youths smashed windscreens and dented bodywork.

The town council has spent £11,880 buying the two cameras, with annual maintenance costs (including up to a maximum of six moves per camera per year) of £1,300 per camera.

Graham Quick, chairman of the Central Linslade Residents’ Association (CLRA), said: “I think the cameras will prevent incidences like this occurring. I don’t want to turn this town into a place where we’re all under Big Brother’s watch, but the locations make sense. We all know there have been problems in Vimy Road and Church Road. It’s got to be monitored.”

Car damage has been a topic of concern for many residents in the past few months, after reports of vandalism taking place down streets including Vandyke Road, New Road, Bideford Green, Garden Hedge, Nelson Road, Bassett Road, and Doggett Street.

During the aftermath of the Church Road car vandalism, resident Simon Card distributed 200 leaflets to households in the vicinity of his home, calling on them to highlight concerns at the CLRA meeting on October 27.

Simon said: “I’m not going to complain about extra protection, but existing CCTV cameras aren’t used effectively. The local CCTV cameras that I’ve heard of are council owned so police need to apply to access footage. I’d personally prefer to see hand and foot prints collected from cars.

“However, the recent increase in policing has provided a positive difference .”

Central Bedfordshire and Town Councillor, Amanda Dodwell, added: “The town council investment in redeployable CCTV cameras gives the council and police flexibility to target crime hotspots.

“Recently, Central Bedfordshire Council used redeployable cameras to great effect in Talbot Court to combat crime and reassure elderly residents.

“The town council’s decision to deploy a camera between New Road and Church Road follows a spate of vandalism in the area. Let’s hope that this will deter further criminal acts.”

A spokesperson from Bedfordshire Police said: “As a force we work closely with local authorities, as well as private businesses and individuals, to seek out all CCTV evidence of criminality.

“Officers launched an investigation into a series of cars being damaged in Church Road, Linslade, during October. CCTV enquiries were carried out and letters were posted to all properties in Church Road seeking information, but there was insufficient evidence to progress and the case was filed on Nov 12, pending further information coming to light.

“If you have any more information, please contact 101 and quote JD/40634/2016.”