Public meeting to discuss security issues at the �1m Wisbech Waterlees play park says CCTV is “essential.”

A CALL has been made for an infra-red CCTV camera to be installed at the beleaguered Waterlees play park in Wisbech, in a bid to stop anti-social behaviour at the �1 million project.

Such a camera would be linked to police - Fenland District Council has offered to monitor the system - and it would produce pictures good enough to support prosecutions.

At a public meeting on Wednesday, Fenland District Councillor and town councillor Virginia Bucknor said such a CCTV system was essential.

'CCTV and better lighting would give protection to both children and staff,' she added.

The meeting was called by Cambridgeshire County Council, after Wisbech county Councillor Sam Hoy asked for public consultation over security issues.

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During a break in the meeting, Cllr Hoy said: 'I am hoping to get some resolution; I am aware there is a lot of problems and residents are angry and concerned about anti-social behaviour on the site.'

James Wilson, from Cambridgeshire County Council's children's service, outline five main areas for discussion. But he reminded the meeting - attended by 11 council representatives and eight residents - that other interested parties would also be consulted before decisions were made. Parents and children are already involved in discussions over security with play leaders.

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'We want to find out what this meeting would prefer to see take place, but that does not mean it will definitely happen,' he added.

The five security issues discussed were:

* Security lighting

* Additional security guards

* Fencing options


* Altering the play park's opening hours.

Mr Wilson told the Wisbech Standard that various ideas would be discussed. Security lighting could be erected at high and low level; and fencing could be increased in height, and could be changed to 'anti-climb' fencing.

Security staff currently lock and unlock the playground; but there is a problem with youngsters getting into the site after closing time.

The site is currently open from 10am to 8pm from Monday to Friday and from 10am to 6pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.

Councillor Steve Tierney, chairman of the safer and stronger community overview and scrutiny committee said: 'I hope we can come to some central agreement; so adversity can be replaced by co-operation.'

*The project is looking for volunteer play workers; anyone wanting more information can contact project manager Rachel Marshall on 01223 714771.

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