August 26, 2016
Driver calls for better seafront CCTV coverage after 'unsighted' collision

A frustrated motorist has called for CCTV coverage to be improved along Burnham-On-Sea's busy seafront after his car was damaged in a collision this week.

Local musician John Prescott's car was left dented and scratched, as pictured here, when it was struck in one of the seafront parking bays on Monday morning (August 22nd).

John says he is amazed that CCTV cameras in the area failed to capture any record of the incident.

"I parked my car on The Esplanade in a pay and display bay near The Front Parlour cafe at approximately 9am on Monday," he says.

"When I returned at 11am a lady ran up to me to say that she has been narrowly missed by a car and it had hit mine."

"I’m told the car was mint green and an elderly man was driving but unfortunately I was too late to the scene and he didn’t stop."

"The driver must have been driving on the wrong side of the road to hit my car and was selfish to not even stop. I understand from one witness that the car turned left off The Esplanade down Pier Street, however I don't have any further information."

John added: "I have requested CCTV footage however I was firstly told the camera wasn’t being monitored and they are unable to see the registration, and I was then told the camera was at the wrong angle to see the vehicle."

"I have filed a report with the police but they are unable to do anything without a registration number, apparently."

He added: "I’m disappointed at the level of security along the seafront. I’m told that all cameras along the front are facing down the side streets and unless a member of security is monitoring a camera when an accident happens they are unable to zoom in to see the detail."

"I do not see how this is money well spent and I certainly fear the worst if this was a more serious incident."

"In theory, the driver could have hit every car along that road or even hit a person and apparently nothing could be done to locate the driver?"

"The general attitude of the police was that unless the council provide more funding we have to deal with what we have. Obviously this is frustrating for me as I’m now having to pay for something out of my control." invited Sedgemoor District Council to comment and its spokeswoman Claire Faun said: "CCTV helps to reduce fear of crime and actual crime and is a deterrent for anti-social behaviour, rather than a security system. The Council currently monitors 149 cameras in 6 towns - Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Highbridge, Yeovil, Taunton and Wellington. There are staff on duty 24/7; 365 days a year."

"In normal monitoring mode, the cameras taking panning shots, which allows them to scan as wide an area as possible. Once the operators spot any potential trouble, they then zoom in to get further details. However, it is not always possible to spot every incident that occurs which was the case in this particular situation."

"Unfortunately, the cameras can only look at one place at a time and cannot simultaneously capture everything that goes on within its entire coverage area. The cameras do cover the Esplanade as well as side streets leading from the Esplanade."

"We are sorry that the gentleman’s car was damaged but we are unable to help at this time."

However, in July we investigated 394 incidents which resulted in 82 arrests."


Anyone with information about the incident should call Burnham Police on 101.


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