FENLANDER: December a record month for CCTV in tackling crime and antisocial behaviour

CCTV is proving increasingly successful in combating crime and antisocial behaviour throughout Fenland.

In December the cameras operated by Fenland District Council helped police make 39 arrests and contributed to the issuing of 19 fixed penalty notices and 14 traffic-related fines – the highest number of positive outcomes in one month since detailed records began in 2003.

Seven of the arrests were for assaults, six for various forms of antisocial behaviour or criminal damage and five for shoplifting.

An attempted burglary in Wisbech was among the 245 incidents recorded last month. In the early hours of one morning the CCTV team observed a man acting suspiciously near homes in Lynn Road. Minutes later, they spotted him trying to gain entry into one of the properties and immediately alerted the police, providing live updates as the situation developed.

As the police arrived on the scene, the suspect was seen attempting to hide a screwdriver behind some bins. Police recovered it and the man was arrested.

The CCTV team works closely with various other organisations as well as the police. Effective action was taken over incidents involving theft and disorderly behaviour in March and Whittlesey as a direct result of reports that came in from the local ShopWatch and Pubwatch schemes.

But the cameras’ role is not confined to tackling criminals and troublemakers; sometimes they also prove vital in coming to the rescue of people in trouble.

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That was the case in Chatteris when an elderly lady was spotted collapsed on the pavement in the High Street. The police were immediately alerted and an ambulance called, enabling the woman to be taken promptly to hospital for treatment.

Councillor Ken Mayor, FDC’s Cabinet member responsible for the CCTV operation and chairman of the Safer Fenland Partnership, said: “These terrific results really underline how effective these cameras are and how well all the various agencies are working together. They show that we are making real progress in all sorts of areas and we are determined to continue to build on that.”

CCTV’s value across the district is recognised by Fenland’s four town councils, who have all recently agreed to continue to provide some of the necessary funding.

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