Plans to centralise Sudbury’s CCTV operations in Bury face opposition

CCTV cameras.
CCTV cameras.

Concerns have been raised over plans to centralise Sudbury’s CCTV surveillance team in Bury St Edmunds.

A team of dedicated volunteers currently monitor CCTV in the area from Sudbury police station – a scheme which is run by Suffolk Police.

At last week’s annual town meeting, councillors spoke out against proposals to centralise the service, with a motion put forward by Babergh district and Sudbury East councillor Jan Osborne for the service to remain in Sudbury.

“Can I suggest that the town council makes a strong representation to the police to say that we don’t want it to go to Bury St Edmunds,” she said.

“And perhaps the police can start to provide us with an evidence base so we can make a really robust case.

“If we shout loud enough, perhaps we can keep it here for longer,” added Mrs Osborne.

Nigel Bennett, who represents Sudbury South, raised concerns over the impact of the last move.

“Not so long ago, it was in Ipswich and we brought it into Sudbury,” he said.

“What we’re potentially going to do is put it all into Bury St Edmunds to cover a much bigger area.”

Mr Bennett said the previous arrangement had placed the town at a disadvantage.

“Sudbury got a pretty bad deal – that’s why we brought it into the town and into the police station,” he said.

Haverhill safer neighbourhood team officer Simon Bourne praised the volunteers who man the CCTV cameras.

“They get full credit from me,” he said.

Councillor Steven Hall, who represents Sudbury South, questioned whether officers needed to implement stronger tactics.

“Surely prevention should be our first aim, rather than catching them on camera after the act has happened,” he said.

Mr Hall also asked if deploying more officers on the street was an option, providing there was sufficient funding.

Following the meeting, it was announced that plans to centralise the initiative have been put an hold, with current arrangements extended for a further 12 months.

Issues over a rise in van thefts were also raised, with one resident reporting a spate of incidents in Springlands Way.

Mr Bourne offered advice to prevent further thefts.

“It might take time and be labour intensive, but I suggest vans are completely emptied over night because they are a prime target,” he said.

Mr Bourne added that it was paramount that residents remained vigilant.

“The nuts and bolts are don’t leave anything expensive in a van or a car, especially in view because, as well as organised groups, there are also opportunists,” he said.