CCTV to be installed after spate of damage

CCTV is set to be installed at Westfield Park, in Longhoughton.
CCTV is set to be installed at Westfield Park, in Longhoughton.

CCTV is being installed at various community venues in Longhoughton, in a desperate attempt to fight back against a spate of anti-social behaviour.

Over recent months, the Gazette has reported numerous incidents of criminal damage and vandalism in the village.

Now, cameras are set to go up at Westfield Park, as well as RAF Boulmer Community Support and Family Centre, known as The Beacon.

Rude graffiti has previously been daubed at Westfield Park building, which has also been subject to other vandalism, while there has been a spate of damage at The Beacon.

Representatives from both venues have experienced their frustration and dismay at the situation.

Simon Buist, community support and families officer for RAF Boulmer, said: “There has been low-level anti-social behaviour in various parts of the village and we have had our fair share around the centre.

“The police have tried to resolve the issue and there is little more we can do, so we have decided to install a CCTV system to hopefully act as a deterrent and to help police if there is any further anti-social behaviour. We have had a broken window, damage to fencing – which has still not been repaired – and damage to garden furniture and children’s play equipment.

“Because of this, we aren’t able to put out the children’s play equipment or the garden furniture for the parents because we don’t want it getting damaged – and that is my frustration. Hopefully the CCTV will be a deterrent and allow us to provide the facilities that we want to provide our families.”

It is a similar situation at Westfield Park and recently a new letter box at the front of the building was ripped off the wall and thrown away – just days after it was fitted.

Eleanor Phillips, chairman of trustees for Longhoughton Village Development Trust, said: “The vandals have no idea how demoralising it is to see fund-raising attempts to improve the facilities made even harder by having to now find the money to replace this letter box and to pay for the cost of installing CCTV.

“The total lack of respect for their community is disheartening. We would urge everyone in the village to be vigilant and report crime.”