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Southwell Town Council discuss proposal for new CCTV at skatepark and Market Square after spate of vandalism

New CCTV cameras could be on the cards as a council aims to stamp out anti-social behaviour.

Southwell Town Council’s environment committee discussed proposals to install cameras at the Market Square and skatepark at its recent meeting, on May 8.

Committee chairman Lyn Harris explained that the idea had “developed out of increased vandalism” in the town and was a bid to “keep these areas safe”.

Southwell Town Council’s offices at The Old Courthouse.
Southwell Town Council’s offices at The Old Courthouse.

The initial idea put forward was for pan, tilt and zoom cameras, with audio, at a cost of £1,520 for the market, and £2,320 for the brand-new skatepark — which opened last weekend.

The market quote was lower as it would be wired into an existing lamp post.

It was emphasised that these were only the initial quotes the council had sought, and the idea had come out of a discussion to explore much it would cost.

Penny Rainbow suggested a new camera wouldn’t do much for the market, as the stalls cover part of the view.

She added: “Generally what you’re getting is someone in a hoodie.”

Peter Harris suggested the council should ask how Newark and Sherwood District Council could support the town council with CCTV — as it is set to move its cameras back in-house and has a responsibility for community safety.

Market Square, Southwell.
Market Square, Southwell.

He added that a passive CCTV system — rather than cameras which tilt and zoom — would be better as the council has “zero resource” to monitor them, and it would be cheaper.

He added: “[The anti-social behaviour] isn’t a regular issue, it’s an occasional issue.”

He proposed to defer the decision to allow the council to contact the district council beforehand.

Getting people to have pride in place should be the “first port of call”, Karen Roberts added.

She suggested the proposal for market CCTV was “quite an immediate response” to the vandalism there — when the council had been “putting up” with more costly damage at the Church Street public toilets for six years.

Lyn Harris explained that the market square issues had made residents “very upset”, which was why the CCTV had been considered.

Peter Brooker said: “I’m particularly concerned about the skatepark.

Southwell’s new skatepark.
Southwell’s new skatepark.

“A lot of people in the community raised a lot of money [to fund it]… I think we need to look at some type of protection.”

He supported Peter Harris’ idea of a passive CCTV system, and said it would be a “starting point” so that they could put video footage into the hands of police in the event of anti-social behaviour.

Malcolm Brock also supported protection for the new facility, and added: “We spent a small fortune on the skatepark.”

Jamie Bostock added that the market place was often “under natural surveillance” due to its town centre location, and suggested the skatepark should be a priority.

The Church Street toilets have been targeted by vandals over the years.
The Church Street toilets have been targeted by vandals over the years.

It was also suggested that council staff and police should visit the Minster School to “hammer home” the impact of anti-social behaviour and vandalism, and to give young people a way to anonymously report their peers if they are aware of the behaviour.

The deferral of the decision was agreed.

Karen Roberts asked for potential improved CCTV for the Church Street toilets to also be considered.

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