CCTV helps trace missing people and kicks back at crime in Wisbech, March, Whittlesey and Chatteris

Scenes from CCTV footage in March

Scenes from CCTV footage in March - Credit: Archant

Tracing missing people is one of the top reasons for CCTV cameras to spring into action in three of the four Fen towns.

Chatteris CCTV footage

Chatteris CCTV footage - Credit: Archant

In Whittlesey, March and Wisbech concern for people was among the biggest reason for their use, including a pupil who left school without permission who was quickly found at a local park.

The cameras feature in a top five list for all towns for tracking the movements of people who have been officially reported missing or others that people are concerned about.

The figures were released by Safer Fenland which presented the findings to an overview and scrutiny committee of Fenland District Council this week.

The cameras are provided as part of the Community Safety Partnership plan to identify and tackle behaviour and trends which have a negative effect on local people.

Whittlesey Market Place

Whittlesey Market Place - Credit: Archant


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Their work aims at reducing crime and anti social behaviour, fear of crime and building community relations to make Fenland a safer place to live.

A total of 71 cameras across the four towns led to 2,140 incidents which resulted in successful prosecutions in the Fens.

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That figure is 544 less than last year - a drop of 20 per cent.

The figure breaks down to 1,545 in Wisbech, 393 in March. 112 in Chatteris and 90 in Whittlesey.

Wisbech has half of all cameras in the Fens with 37 compared to 14 in March and Chatteris and four in Whittlesey.

Number one reason for using them in Wisbech was street drinking which had the highest camera use with 337 incidents and a further 203 incidents for public disorder offences.

In March and Whittlesey there were no street drinking camera incidents but in March there were 66 disorder incidents.

In Whittlesey there were nine disorder offences while in Chatteris there were eight street drinking offences and 24 disorder incidents.

A spokesman for Fenland District Council said: “The figures show a continuing drop in the number of incidents of crime and disorder within the areas covered by CCTV.

“This proves the cameras’ effectiveness not only in detecting incidents but also as a powerful deterrent.”

He added that all 71 cameras were actively monitored by a dedicated CCTV team in order to nip any potential trouble in the bud.

“The team is also constantly on the lookout for vulnerable people who may be at risk,” he said.

CHATTERIS

A missing child who left school at Chatteris was found in Wenny Recreation Ground thanks to CCTV.

Police control were given live updates of the child’s location. As the child left the park and walked into town they were found by police and returned home safe and well.

MARCH

CCTV cameras saw a man with others outside a takeaway in March High street in possession of a knuckle duster.

Police were informed and local officers searched the man who was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon and Class A drugs.

WISBECH

A brawl between large groups of people was broken up on Bridge Street. Three people were arrested for affray.

WHITTLESEY

A woman who self harms left her address following a row. CCTV locates her in Market Place and both police and ambulance attend where she is taken to hospital for treatment.

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