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Crime victim says Market Drayton's CCTV 'not fit for purpose'

By Rob Smith | Market Drayton | Crime | Published:

A Market Drayton woman who had hundreds of pounds taken from her account by thieves said that the town's CCTV cameras, which she said captured the theft, are not fit for purpose.

Christine Grundy's debit card was stolen in the centre of the town on December 20.

She said that even though a number of cameras saw two young women take her purse, no offenders were identified. She has since been refunded the £350 that was taken.

She addressed the latest meeting of Market Drayton Town Council, pleading with councillors to work with police and improve the town's provision.

"[I had my debit card taken] on December 20. Two young women took £350 out of my account and gave my money to a tall man," she said.

"The police have been involved, they have been collecting footage from cameras around the town to no avail.

"The CCTV is not fit for purpose. All the footage is blurred.

"Is it not about time you all sang from the same hymn sheet?"

She said that with police able to use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology for speeding cars, cameras should be capable of identifying criminals clearly.

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Mayor Roger Smith said he "fully sympathised" with Mrs Grundy and that the CCTV situation was "being looked at".

Reassurance

The town council wants to install new cameras at the Towers Lawn car parks to deter anti-social drivers, as well as in Cheshire Street.

Town councillor Mike Smith has a background in technology and said he also has concerns about the existing cameras.

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"The current system is now relatively old by CCTV standards and is suffering from some mechanical failures, and isn't compatible with that used in other local towns," he said.

"This is important as it would allow for monitoring from a single control centre."

Meanwhile an officer on the town's police team said the CCTV system in the town has helped secure convictions and deter criminals.

Pc Alan Ambrose did not comment on the incident involving Mrs Grundy but said: "Market Drayton Safer Neighbourhood Team work very closely with Market Drayton Town Council.

"We have an excellent cooperation between Market Drayton Town Council CCTV and West Mercia Police which has assisted in investigations and bringing offenders to justice at locations where the cameras are already located.

"These camera locations have also prevented criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.

"The CCTV also gives the local residents the reassurance they need within the community whilst they go about their daily business.

"This close working partnership has shown to be critical to its effectiveness and the extra CCTV cameras within the town will enhance this partnership to the benefit of the community.

"This will assist future partnership working with long term problem solving, reducing demand, reassuring the public and protecting our communities from crime and anti-social behaviour."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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