New CCTV system for Essex town

PUBLISHED: 09:39 17 June 2010

CCTV camera Huntingdon

CCTV camera Huntingdon

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A NEW state-of-the-art CCTV system will be introduced in Great Dunmow's town centre to help tackle criminal and anti-social activity.

A NEW state-of-the-art CCTV system will be introduced in Great Dunmow’s town centre to help tackle criminal and anti-social activity.

Costing around £50,000, there will be seven cameras, six of which will replace those in the current 12-year-old system, and one new one which is set to be fixed over the Doctors Pond – recently described as a “crime hotspot.”

The installation comes after months of negotiations between groups and councils to get the best available deal.

Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has agreed to fund the project using money from the sale of its High Street offices in Dunmow which is due to go through at the end of June. The system will be introduced soon after.

UDC community safety officer Martin Ford has been working on the project since September 2009. Although he still hopes to reduce the overall cost he welcomes the new system and said he it “benefit the town.”

He said: “It will replace the old and outdated system of fibre optic cables with wireless cameras that we will be able to move around.

“It is state of the art and has been agreed after extensive consultation – it should prove to be very effective as the cameras will now have pivot and zoom functions.

“Shopkeepers, the police and other parties can highlight areas of concern and we can target them.”

Currently monitoring and recording equipment is housed in the UDC offices, this will be replaced by new equipment will in the Dunmow Town Council offices and subsequently monitored 24/7. Recordings will also be taken on DVD.

However, some parties are sceptical about the new system. The Dunmow Broadcast understands that complaints have been lodged by residents living around the Doctors Pond who say they do want to be “snooped on”.

Also, members of the town’s chamber of trade have voiced concerns by saying that CCTV in general is “ineffective”. Chairman Mike Perry said that he was “unaware of any arrest ever made as a direct result of CCTV footage.” He added that cameras are ineffective in low light or after dark. The chamber has also withdrawn its annual £1000 payment towards running costs. This has been met by the town council.

DOES Dunmow need a new CCTV system? Tell us what you think – e-mail editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk

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