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Saturday, 23 May 2015

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Calls for more CCTV cameras to watch Ulverston

BUSINESS owners and residents have called for improvements to their town’s CCTV coverage in order to deter criminals.

BUSINESS owners and residents have called for improvements to CCTV coverage in Ulverston in order to deter criminals.

Cumbria police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes announced last week that he had secured £539,000 to fund a countywide CCTV project, monitored from a central hub in Penrith.

Now Ulverston residents have urged Mr Rhodes to invest some of the funds in expanding and improving the town’s surveillance network.

Concerns were first voiced about the effectiveness of Ulverston’s CCTV last year, after cameras failed to identify vandals damaging a silver birch tree in County Square.

The attack jeopardised plans for Ulverston’s 2013 Christmas lights display.

Pat Appleton of Ulverston Bringing Communities Together, the town’s neighbourhood watch group, said: “Most of the money will be going to Barrow and other major towns.

“But we have had problems. A shop window was smashed recently and we have had problems with anti-social behaviour in the past.

“We monitor it among ourselves but CCTV can be a good back-up.

“I know some people in Croftlands would like to see cameras outside the shops in Oakwood Drive because I think they can act as a deterrent.

“We can’t have one around every corner but I would like to see the ones we’ve got improved.”

Earlier this month, a cobblestone was thrown through the window of The Body Clinic in Brogden Street, which has no CCTV coverage.

Owner Liz Leech said the damage was a setback for her business, which had only been open for two months.

“When it happened I had to cancel clients so I lost business. I don’t know if I’ve lost business since but it’s not easy to attract new customers in when there’s no window.”

She said expanding Ulverston’s CCTV network beyond County Square and Market Street would put off the vandals.

“I think people know that it isn’t well lit here and there is no CCTV so it’s an easy target.

“I’m a bit worried it’s going to happen again so it would be good if CCTV was there.

“It would show they were considering and protecting businesses.”

The final decision on the project will be made at a meeting on February 5.

Mr Rhodes’s office was unable to confirm if any of the £539,000 will be spent in Ulverston.

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