Diss CCTV plan latest

The cost of installing CCTV cameras in a Norfolk town to help combat crime and the fear of crime should be known by the end of January.

Insp Gavin Money, of Norfolk police, told a Diss Town Council meeting electronics distributor Midwich was looking into the cost of putting in the new cameras in Diss town centre to combat crime and the fear of crime.

He hoped to hold a public meeting at the end of January to present the costs and enlist the community's support.

However, a number of councillors said they were concerned expectations were being prematurely raised CCTV was on its way, but nothing had yet been delivered.

Diss mayor Mike Bardwell said: 'As an issue it is something that crops up regularly within the next two or three months, but until it happens people will read about it and not take too much notice.'

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In October, an appeal was made for community-minded volunteers to come forward to set up a group to run the surveillance equipment in Diss, which will start initially in the town centre before potentially being expanded to other areas, including industrial estates in Vinces Road and Sawmills Road, depending on the project's success.

Figures from Norfolk police show there were 98 crimes in Diss in July, including 54 anti-social behaviour offences, an increase of 10 crimes on the previous month when there were 44 anti-social behaviour offences. In December, there were only 70 offences.

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If there is sufficient interest among residents, a community interest company will be formed to run the network involving representatives of Diss Town Council, South Norfolk District Council, traders and residents.

However, so far only three people have come forward.

Town clerk Deborah Sarson said in October she had spoken to businesses and residents who supported the re-introduction of a CCTV network similar to cameras used in the town in the past.

She added although Diss had a low crime rate compared to many towns, residents and visitors would feel safer with CCTV cameras in the town centre.

Cameras could initially be set up in Market Place and the Mere's Mouth to combat anti-social behaviour and then the network expanded to other potential crime hotspots such as the industrial estates if it proves a success.

A report from Norfolk police suggests installing CCTV could reduce the number of crimes in the town centre from 351 to 261 per year, while saving �56,254 in police call out costs.

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