Campaign for CCTV to tackle criminal damage in Redbourn

CONCERNED residents have called for additional CCTV cameras in their village because of ongoing anti-social behaviour.

Tony and Jean Godfrey, joint coordinators of the Neighbourhood Watch for the Lamb Lane/Shepherds Row area of Redbourn, have lodged a petition signed by 279 residents with St Albans council.

The petition, which was on the agenda for the full council meeting last night, asks for two “good quality” CCTV cameras linked to council’s control room to be installed “as a matter of urgency”.

The petition’s plea for additional cameras follows several years of what has been described as anti-social behaviour and wanton vandalism particularly to vehicles in that area.

In a letter accompanying the petition, Tony and Jean said: “We find it unacceptable, as a result of this ‘anti-social behaviour’, that individuals should feel intimidated to the point where they are afraid to leave their own properties and that residents in general should fear that their property could be damaged at any time.”

Redbourn independent councillor and former top police officer, Cllr Tony Swendell, said: “I’m not in favour of CCTV cameras all over the place but I am in favour of them being there for a purpose, to catch persistent criminals.”

He said he was aware of the Neighbourhood Watch group’s concerns and “sympathised” with them.

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St Albans council’s principal engineer Brian Peers has assured them that the council would help residents. In a letter to them he said it was disappointing that a situation had arisen where residents felt the need to take such action.

He went on: “CCTV can make a contribution to community safety but it is not the total answer; sometimes other measures can generate better results.

“There are also concerns about putting permanent cameras in residential areas since many people feel uneasy about incursions into their privacy.”

Cameras in Redbourn’s High Street have been upgraded, and an additional camera has been fitted looking at the entrance into Lamb Lane at the High Street end, he added.

Tony Godfrey said that in light of Mr Peers’ response, residents would continue researching and discussing the issue.