The long-running campaign to deliver CCTV in Diss is edging closer to completion as nine locations where the cameras could be installed are revealed.
The cameras would be located in some of the busiest areas of the town centre as well as crime hotspots including Diss Park, Market Hill and Mere Street.
A planning application to install the cameras is also in the process of being submitted to South Norfolk Council, and, if approved, the cameras could be installed by the end of the year.
A budget of £64,000 has been set aside by the South Norfolk Community Safety Partnership, which will be spent on CCTV for both Diss and Wymondham, and a South Norfolk CCTV Group has been set up, made up of Diss Town Council, Wymondham Town Council and local businesses.
Diss inspector Alice Scott said: “Establishing a CCTV network in Diss is a community venture, run by volunteers and supported by partners including Norfolk Constabulary and the local councils. A panel of community members is being set up who will ultimately administer the project and monitor the cameras.
“The nine locations have been chosen according to a number of factors, to cover the busiest areas of the town centre as well as areas where crime and anti-social behaviour occur. It is hoped that the scheme could be expanded in future to cover industrial and outlying retail areas of Diss.
“The cameras will record 24 hours a day and will be monitored by the volunteers during busy times or key events. The purpose of the scheme is not simply to tackle crime – we hope it will also boost feelings of safety and enhance and assist existing partnership work in the town.”
Just two weeks ago LJ Chapman jewellers in Mere Street had a window smashed and £2,000 worth of jewellery stolen. And in July, there was an attempted break in at Boots in Market Place, after which assistant manager Jenny Daulby called for the quick delivery of CCTV.
Oliver Pilsbury-Gaunt, who runs the Park Pavilion kiosk in Diss Park, and has suffered a number of break-ins in the past, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful news for the park because in previous years it has suffered from light crime like anti-social behaviour and vandalism.
“CCTV doesn’t just help to solve crime but it deters people too.”
“It will make the park more enjoyable for everyone because people will feel safer and it’s a brilliant thing for my business too because it will give me that added protection.”
Diss Mayor Neil Howard said that he fully supports the project and hopes that if it is successful it can expand to cover other areas in the town.
n What do you think? Send your thoughts to email@example.com or write to us using the address on page 2.