More CCTV on the cards as town grows

TALKS are being sought on the expansion of Daventry’s CCTV network as new areas of the town centre are developed.

Daventry Town Council, which has run the camera network since April, voiced concerns on Monday evening that CCTV had not been included on proposals for the town centre’s new shopping areas.

Plans for Mulberry Place (south of the High Street covering the library site and car park) and the site for the new supermarket (at the bottom of Ashby Road/Braunston Road) are currently being drawn up and are expected to be submitted in the near future.

Town clerk Deborah Jewell said: “The town council is seeking a meeting for us to talk to the district council to ensure that consideration is given in the planning process to including CCTV in these proposals.

“The district council should be encouraging its developer to talk to them and us so that we can work together to make sure we provide a cost effective network.

“Councillors were concerned that this doesn’t seem to be being discussed.”

Daventry’s CCTV network cost £300,000 to install and uses fibre optics to link the cameras to a new control room based at Daventry Police Station.

The network already includes 10 cameras in the town centre. There is also a fibre optic link out to Wimborne Place, on Ashby Fields, although no cameras are there.

New cameras would require underground ducts for the cabling, plus suitable walls or poles for the cameras.

Mrs Jewell said: “Extending the network would require money. But we think that through discussions with the developer that money can be provided through a section 106 agreement [a contract signed during the planning process where developers agree to fund infrastructure] which is in the remit of the district council.”

Despite plans to expand the network, a suggestion of using the town’s cameras to tackle littering was voted down by the council.

The Daventry Community Safety Partnership has asked if the cameras could be used to keep an eye on who was dropping rubbish.

Litterbugs in the district can already be given on-the-spot fines by council officers if they are caught in the act.

Mrs Jewell said: “The councillors didn’t feel that CCTV was the right tool to tackle littering.

“It’s a bit of an infringement of people’s space. They didn’t want people sitting in the control room giving orders over a speaker system to people telling them to pick up their litter.

“Councillors agreed the use of CCTV was to prevent crime and provide a safe and secure environment for residents, businesses and visitors to Daventry, and was not a tool to identify and penalise litterbugs.”