New spy cameras for Shoebury roads

Spy cameras to catch drug dealers and crime gangs in action have been installed in three Shoebury roads to help police make arrests and secure charges.

Automatic number plate recognition cameras have been quietly installed on lampposts in Wakering Road, Frobisher Way and Elm Road in recent weeks.

Residents have been left scratching their heads as to why the cameras – usually spotted on much busier roads – have been placed on relatively quiet roads.

Now, it has been confirmed they will help to prevent crime and drug dealing, and the cameras will record number plates to the police who will also be able to access the footage.

Martin Terry, councillor responsible for public protection, said: “If they are ANPR cameras, which I haven’t seen myself, that would be an operational policing matter, and if it’s part of the police extending their dealings with criminality then that’s a good thing.

“People have no need to worry about the cameras unless they are breaking the law.

“ANPR cameras don’t watch people they just pick up data. You’ve got vehicles flagged up for drug dealing, county lines that sort of stuff.”

Cllr Terry added: “I welcome it. The more you can do against criminality the better. If you are innocent you’ve got nothing to worry about. I’m aware police are focusing on gang-crime, modern day slavery and county lines.

“Sadly there is this type of activity everywhere in the country. If the police are extending their net then that’s a good thing.”

Peter Lovett, vice-chairman of Shoebury Residents Association, said residents had been kept in the dark.

He said: “We’ve got no idea why they’ve been put up. I’ve been trying to find out because I’ve been asked by a member. We want to know, like speeding cameras if they are put in a place where speeding takes place one can understand it but you don’t want cameras just going up.

“We’ve got one cctv camera which they don’t even know if its good at night and yet lots goes on over there especially at night. We’ve had a couple of cars speeding round there at 3am and skidding. Where we want cameras we’re not getting them. It’s just nice to know they’re there for a good reason and their not just shoving them up to spy on people.”

Police said they “would not confirm or identify locations for ANPR cameras”.


Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter