Concerned residents have set up a petition to get CCTV installed in the alleyway behind Morrisons to deter anti social behaviour.
James Braxton, 26, and his girlfriend Hannah, of Steppingstone Place set up the petition last week and have received 241 online signatures.
“People of all ages including young families on the school run, professionals getting to work and the elderly doing their shopping use the alleyway, they should not be exposed to criminal activities when going about their business.”Hannah
They want CCTV installed in the area to make people feel safer walking through the alley on their way to work, the shops or school.
James said: “In the past week alone I have stumbled across five incidents involving either drug taking or dealing.
“Having seen first hand how desperate the situation is getting we decided to set up the online petition.
“The mere presence of a camera would act as a deterrent to the people intent on using the walkway as a meeting point.
“It would be great if the petition could reach as many people as possible so that we can send it directly to the council, however the main thing is that the issue is highlighted and is talked about locally.”
Sergeant Andy Rivers from the Central Beds Crime Prevention Team said: “This petition is a residents-led initiative, and we would reassure the Leighton Buzzard community that we are aware of illegal and anti-social behaviour in this area and are working hard to tackle it.
“Anyone with information about any crime is asked to report it by calling us on the non-emergency number 101.”
Councillor for Leighton Buzzard South, Amanda Dodwell, said: “Morrisons are trying to tackle the problem, they are aware of the anti-social behaviour and are looking at what measures can be taken to improve security along the path.
“I want to see something done there because some residents are frightened to use the path, which is often used as a short cut to shops and is also a well-used cycle path.”
Morrisons are in the process of cutting down some of the trees this week which will improve the lighting in the area.
Hannah believes a CCTV camera would solve the problem of anti social behaviour in the alleyway.
She said: “People of all ages including young families on the school run, professionals getting to work and the elderly doing their shopping use the alleyway, they should not be exposed to criminal activities when going about their business.”
A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesperson said: “We have not been contacted directly about installing CCTV in the alleyway behind Morrisons.
“Anyone who has seen any criminal or anti social behaviour there should report it to the police. That way it can be logged and this information can then be used to justify CCTV being installed.
“CCTV would only be installed as a last measure when all other efforts to resolve the situation had failed and, if it was judged that using cameras was proportionate to the problem.
“Like any council, we are bound by strict guidelines concerning CCTV in public places. So, for example, if cameras had an adverse impact on people’s privacy they would not be installed.”
To sign the petition, visit: www.morrisonslbcctv.co.uk