July 5, 2005
More CCTV cameras and a new ShopWatch scheme for Burnham?
Plans for two new initiatives to reduce crime and disorder in Burnham-On-Sea were unveiled this week.
Sgt Mark Nicholson (pictured) of Burnham’s town centre police team addressed town councillors about plans for a ShopWatch scheme – and, seperately, proposals to introduce CCTV cameras at Apex Leisure Park were discussed.
Cllr Peter Clayton called for CCTV cameras to be used at Apex’s car park and skate park areas following reports about alleged drug taking there.
“CCTV cameras and extra lighting would be a great help. An incident took place recently but the vehicles and people could not be seen or identified,” said Cllr Clayton.
Cllr Louise Parkin backed the proposal and added that children at Burnham’s Youth Town Council have also expressed their concerns about drug taking at the skate park. The proposal will be further discussed in coming weeks.
Meanwhile, it is hoped that the ShopWatch scheme to help protect small businesses against crime and disorder could be up and running in Burnham later this year.
Sgt Nicholson said that the town’s PubWatch scheme has already been a success, adding: “The committee already has the power to ban troublemakers from the town’s pubs and clubs.”
“Between 16 and 18 people have already been banned,” he said. “This makes the town a lot safer to drink in and means people are less likely to offend in the town.”
If extended to shops in Burnham, a database of offenders’ photos would be generated to allow business owners to recognise troublemakers and prevent them from accessing their shops. A co-ordinator would be hired for one day a week to oversee the scheme.
If introduced, the scheme would be managed in conjunction with Action Against Business Crime (AABC), a national organisation for business crime reduction partnerships. It would ensure that firm links between businesses, police and other relevant local and regional agencies are developed.
Burnham-On-Sea Town Council’s Policy and Finance committee will decide during the next few weeks whether they will back the ShopWatch scheme with the necessary funding to push the proposal forward.