THE deterrent value of CCTV has been demonstrated at a play park in Chatteris that has previously been a regular target for vandals.
Over the past few years equipment in the play area at the Wenny recreation ground has been damaged numerous times, costing Fenland District Council thousands of pounds in repairs and replacement.
There have also been frequent complaints from local residents about antisocial behaviour there.
But following the installation of a new CCTV camera in January there have been no more reported cases of criminal damage to any play equipment or park furniture.
Eleven incidents have been caught on camera and reported immediately to the police, including drug use and under-age drinking.
The new infra-red camera provides clear images even in complete darkness. It is one of 67 of cameras in public spaces across the district. They are all monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by FDC’s Safer Fenland CCTV team.
Councillor David Oliver, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for community safety, said: “The camera’s presence at Wenny Rec is clearly having a positive effect in deterring troublemakers there.
“It is another indication of the effectiveness of our whole CCTV operation. The latest figures show that between April 2011 and March this year, the team responded to 3,502 incidents across the district and their intervention led directly to nearly 600 arrests and fines.” Meanwhile, another new camera has just been installed at Hostmoor Avenue in March. Fully funded by Roddons Housing Association, it will help to deter and detect any trouble at its own headquarters there, as well as supporting the local Business Against Crime scheme in the town.