Park CCTV could cost £27k but neighbours claim 'drug dealers' know where cameras are (From Surrey Comet)
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Park CCTV could cost £27k but neighbours claim 'drug dealers' know where cameras are
CCTV cameras could be installed in Blagdon Park in New Malden at a cost of as much as £27,000 to try and deter serious crimes.
The park has seen several serious crimes in recent years. Its multi-storey car park was forced to close down in the evenings due to antisocial behaviour.
A report submitted to the Maldens and Coombe neighbourhood committee this week estimated the cost of fitting CCTV could be anywhere between £9,600 and £27,000 depending on whether a wireless option or BT option is favoured.
Conservative leader and Councillor Howard Jones called for a trial period for CCTV at the park.
He said: “I believe there is enough money there and enough evidence of antisocial behaviour – crimes such as drugs and underage drinking.
“The difficulty is balancing the feelings about the community being too closely watched by CCTV against the seriousness of the crimes and antisocial behaviour.
“The reaction of the community would be to at least put it in for a period to see whether it is successful or not.
“If it deterred antisocial behaviour that would be a good thing.
“If you could catch somebody committing a crime it would be a success.”
Councillor Simon James, lead member for sustainable place, said: “If the police say this would help antisocial behaviour I would be all for it – but I would like to hear the police’s opinion.”
There is already a CCTV camera by the car park. But Blagdon Road resident Sebastian Amos said: “All the drug dealers know where it is [the camera] and they wear their hoodies and everything.
"CCTV is always something to look at after an event, but it does not tend to stop people doing anything.”
He said he did not think it would make a “big difference” but would be “a start” if people began to get caught and fined.
In July a 16-year-old was stabbed in Blagdon Park, but he managed to stagger to the High Street where he was seen slumped outside the KFC by witnesses and helped.
Two teenagers were arrested and have been on bail to return to Kingston police station this month.
In 2009, a pack of 15 youths punched and kicked a dog walker leaving him with severe lacerations to his face.
In the same year a 16-year-old college pupil was attacked leaving him with brain damage after a violent daytime assault by up to 20 youths.
The installation of CCTV will be discussed again at a meeting in November.
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