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Mobile CCTV to combat vandals in Sealand

Published date: 28 January 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A COMMUNITY plagued by anti-social behaviour is fighting back with mobile CCTV units.

New cameras will be moved to crime hot spots in the fight against vandals, thieves and drug dealers.

Sealand Community Council has dedicated £1,000 to adding two new mobile cameras to its collection of four.

They will be operated by police who will target them on areas experiencing the highest levels of anti-social behaviour.

Councillors believe the eyes in the sky are the answer to deterring petty crime, securing convictions for serious offenders and making residents feel safer.

The Sealand Manor Estate in Garden City was described as a war zone in 2011, amid claims of stones being thrown through windows, burglaries, threats and houses being doused in oil.

One resident told the Leader: “It’s a bit like gang warfare if your face doesn’t fit.
“There was also a couple of lovely tenants due to move in.

“They came to decorate their house and were intimidated and bullied so didn’t move in.”

CCTV was installed and Flintshire councillor for Sealand Chris Jones believes it is responsible for a marked improvement.

In May 2011 she called for action in Sandy Lane and Orchard Way where elderly people were living in fear of anti-social youths.

“They’re throwing things at the pensioners doors, hedge hopping and knocking on the door and running away. The pensioners are very intimidated by it,” she said at the time.

A camera was placed by Sealand Youth Club which is based near a pensioner complex on Orchard Way.

“When we put a camera there it was more of a deterrent for the youths and made the older people feel safer,” said Shelley Webb, clerk of Sealand Community Council.

She added: “It’s not there to spy on people. We are trying to reassure the older people. We don’t want them to feel like prisoners in their own home.

“If you are not doing anything untoward then you won’t even notice the cameras are there.”

She said Riverside Park was an area that had been hit hard by car vandals.

Ms Webber explained: “The cameras were first used about five years ago when we were having so much trouble in Sealand Manor.

“We bought a camera and a laptop and run by the police.

“Sealand is such a vast area and we do have a few hot spots.

“The police move the cameras to where they are needed.

“Every couple of years we buy a new one to add to our collection of cameras.

“They help police catch criminals, act as a deterrent so we have less petty incidents and they give a feeling of safety and reassurance to everybody.”

Inspector Jeff Moses of North Wales Police said: “CCTV is a really good set of eyes placed strategically in areas and often we will see an incident happening in the police control room before it is reported to us by the public.

“It assists in the evidence chain. We can use that footage to put people in front of a court or question them as to their involvement in an incident.”

The decision to bring mobile cameras to Sealand comes after police used their existing cameras during the Catherine Gowing murder enquiry.

It is understood footage taken in South Green was used to study traffic to Manor Road, where the Irish vet’s remains were later found.

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