Possible CCTV scheme for Thaxted?

THAXTED Parish Council is exploring the possibility of installing CCTV to “protect its assets” in the town.

Residents at last Thursday’s annual meeting listened as Terry Frostick, chairman of the council’s finance and assets committee, explained that a reduced police presence and increase in anti-social behaviour over recent months had “focused our minds to look at this as a possible crime reduction method.

“It is very early days and funding is likely to be an issue. And there is certainly no commitment yet – it is just something we are looking at to protect our assets,” he said.

Those assets include Thaxted Rec, the windmill, which has been experiencing repeated acts of vandalism, and Margaret Street car park.

Asked if CCTV would be of benefit to the town, Uttlesford’s new neighbourhood policing inspector, Mick Coulridge, told the meeting: “Yes, if monitored it is a fantastic tool. It tells us what’s going on and can help identify a criminal, and the other benefit is the reassurance for people as a crime prevention measure.

“Then again, some people don’t like the idea of a Big Brother society either. And obviously it is expensive. It [installing CCTV] is down to the parish council’s judgment.”

Speaking about the “reduced police presence in recent months” in Thaxted, Insp Coulridge added: “The parish council quite rightly points out they haven’t seen as much of the police as they would have liked. It is something we are addressing.

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“People will start to see more beat officers in the town.”

Essex police also holds surgeries in Thaxted Library on Tuesday and Friday.