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Town sees fall in crime thanks to CCTV

PUBLISHED: 17:55 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:30 03 July 2010

The introduction of CCTV cameras has been credited for a big fall in crime numbers in Gorleston town centre.

In the six months the system has been operating, there has been a 20pc fall in general crime and a dramatic 50pc cut in retail crime.

The introduction of CCTV cameras has been credited for a big fall in crime numbers in Gorleston town centre.

In the six months the system has been operating, there has been a 20pc fall in general crime and a dramatic 50pc cut in retail crime.

Criminal damage has been sharply reduced following the switch-on of the cameras along the town's High Street in November last year.

One person received a four month custodial sentence as a result of identification by CCTV following a series of offences against retailers. Another was charged and three others identified following an assault outside the Dukes Head pub.

Drivers who park illegally, obstructing the High Street which is particularly narrow in places, are also being targeted.

Two police constables Jason Howell and Pat Bailey were at the forefront of efforts to bring CCTV to the High Street. Town centre community officer Pc Howell drummed up funding from traders.

The £40,000 EnterpriseGY funded hi-tech wireless system took about a year to put in place and a company, Gorleston CCTV, set up to run it.

Further funding has been obtained through donations including £500 from the Gorleston Chamber of Trade, £400 from the Crime Prevention Panel and £1200 from the community chest to pay for two radios to allow controllers at the CCTV centre to have direct contact with the police.

Pc Howell: “The support we have received from EnterpriseGY has been tremendous; it has given us the opportunity to combat crime in a way that I never thought would be possible.

“It has also had a massive knock on effect; it has given us new energy to develop and improve strategies in crime prevention.

“We now have a team of volunteers who work very hard for the local business community; a new town link radio system is being launched and there are other projects we are looking at. Working closely with the community has paid dividends and I would personally like to thank everyone who has helped.”

Businessman Albert Jones, who owns Magic City gambling arcade in the High Street, provided the premises for the CCTV control centre.

Gorleston was the largest town in Norfolk without CCTV and the lack of surveillance cameras were seen as making the busy shopping hub a soft target for crooks.

The extra security was also aimed at providing a spending boost on the street that has suffered from a series of shop closures in recent years.

Richard Percy, programme manager for EnterpriseGY, said: “The Gorleston CCTV project is a great example of how EnterpriseGY is reaching into the community and working with key partners to deliver really positive changes for local residents and businesses.”

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