Town chiefs fork out for surveillance to tackle anti-social behaviour in Ashington

Town chiefs have agreed to spend more than £3,000 tackling two summer anti-social behaviour hotspots.

By James Harrison
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 12:29 pm

Concerns have been growing in recent months over numerous issues, including fires, at Ashington’s Peoples Park and at Ashington Community Woodland.

This has prompted officers from Northumbria Police to draw up plans to monitor the sites, in an attempt to crack down on any disorder.

And after requesting the cash to install cameras, Ashington Town Council voted on Tuesday (June 28) to approve the scheme.

Ashington Council has approved two new surveillance schemes for the town

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“There’s been a few issues in the community woods, a few fires and anti-social behaviour and it’s just working with the police and fire brigade to try and support them,” said Caroline Ball, a member of Ashington Town Council and Northumberland County Council.

“There’s ongoing issues, but it has got worse of late.

“It’s a beautiful part of the town but there’s been more fires recently in the area, so it’s just about trying to nip it in the bud.”

Cllr Caroline Ball, a county councillor and town councillor for Ashington.

She added: “I think it’s more a trial to see how it works and if it actually does help stop some of the people setting those fires.”

A combined total of £3,456 has been set aside for schemes at the two sites.

At Peoples Park, council bosses have agreed to allocate £2,272 for a 12-month contract which will see automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras installed in the park’s car park.

The deal covers a one-off £192 charge for installation and includes a £40-per-week monitoring service, although bosses have said they do not expect to see out the entirety of the contract period, meaning some of the money could be recouped.

Peoples Park’s car park is barely half a mile from the site of a planned new railway station approved last year to serve the Northumberland Line.

At Ashington Community Woods, the town council has agreed a separate "short-term” deal worth £1,184.

After a one-off £192 charge for installation, this will cover the £62-per-week cost of CCTV and a monitoring service until the end of the October half-term school holidays.