New camera causes anger in Thetford

A Thetford businessman has reacted with anger to news of a new CCTV camera aimed at preventing flytipping just yards away from a spot blighted by anti-social behaviour.

Cobra Domestic Appliances, on White Hart Street, Thetford, has been vandalised three times since October last year, leaving owner Roy Brame facing a large bill and contemplating closing completely.

Speaking to the EDP earlier this year, he said a CCTV camera focused on the street or a nearby alley which was used as a toilet and believed to be used for drug dealing would help solve the problem.

Breckland Council has now said a camera will be installed – but to deter people dumping waste, not with the specific aim of helping to deter anti-social behaviour.

The council did stress, however, it would cover part of the alley.

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Mr Brame said: 'I can't think that it will make absolutely any difference at all. Nothing is being done about any of this. They're going to put a camera there but I had an attempted break-in this Tuesday and the camera wouldn't have caught it.

'It's what's going on in the alleyway that's the problem and the wall needs to be removed.'

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The new camera will be fixed to a lamp post in St Nicholas Street and will provide coverage of a fly-tipping hot spot near the alleyway entrance linking the Breckland House car park on St Nicholas Street to White Hart Street.

The existing CCTV camera fixed to Breckland House will be re-positioned to capture pedestrians and cars entering and leaving the area where three communal bins are located. Further coverage will come from a third camera positioned above the bins to record images of those illegally dumping.

A Breckland Council spokesman said: 'The new CCTV camera has been bought to address fly-tipping, which is a huge problem for the council, costing in excess of �60,000 a year to clean up.

'The area it will cover is a fly-tipping hot spot where problems occur almost daily and we are currently unable to either deter or track down offenders.

'The new camera has been purchased using funds awarded to Breckland through the courts for fly-tipping offences and will also be of some help to Cobra as it will cover one end of the alleyway.'

Although the issue of anti-social behaviour has been adopted by the Thetford Safer Neighbourhood Team as a priority, businesses say this does not go far enough and CCTV should be re-directed towards the whole of the street and a wall next to the alleyway removed or lowered, to open it up.

Breckland Council previously said opening up the alley would need further investigation in terms of ownership and planning permission.

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