New CCTV cameras in Wickford and Pitsea ‘just the beginning’, says Basildon Council leader

COUNCILLORS are set to spend more than £90,000 on new CCTV cameras in Wickford and Pitsea.

New security cameras are planned for Northlands Park, Pitsea, and three locations in Wickford: Market Lane, Wickford Memorial Park and the Nevendon Centre.

Basildon Council’s Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee will meet next week to discuss the proposal.

Footage from the cameras would be beamed back to the Bas Centre and recorded there.

Councillors had already allocated £55,500 in 2018 to cover the cost of installing the new cameras, but the bill has come out at £90,347.

Council officers have recommended that the committee pay the £34,847 shortfall out of its own £163,000 budget.

At the last meeting of the committee, council leader Gavin Callaghan, who represents Pitsea, said: “Northlands Park is a park that has seen some serious crimes in the last few years.”

In 2018, crimes reported to police in Northlands Park included a rape and an attack with a samurai sword.

Cllr Callaghan continued: “Every single week I am receiving information and intelligence from members of the public about scramblers and about motorbikes that are going through the park.

“There is a very clear problem with the entrances and exits that are not adequately monitored at this moment in time for police to be able to follow through with prosecutions.”

Tory councillor Kevin Blake called at the last committee meeting for council officers to review all parks in the borough, to see whether they too would benefit from the installation of CCTV.

Cllr Callaghan said these initial schemes were ‘just the beginning’.

Committee chairman David Harrison said the council had recently upgraded its CCTV monitoring facilities so it could accommodate an extra 60 feeds.

Cllr Callaghan told the last meeting: “I myself am being lobbied at the moment about Lake Meadows.”

The committee will consider the CCTV proposal at the Bas Centre next Wednesday, November 27, at 7pm.

Northlands Park

Charles Thomson

Chief ReporterEmail: [email protected]