11 new CCTV cameras to watch over West Cumbrian town centre
By Federica Bedendo
A new CCTV system will be operating in Workington town centre.
Workington town centre Washington Square hub
Scoop, which runs the Washington Square shopping centre, installed 11 new cameras across the centre, including service yards, last week.
Tracy Goddard, property asset manager at Scoop, said: “It will provide a safer shopping environment for our customers and tenants.
“Police will have access to them if they require it, but we will be monitoring them.
“It’s for the benefit of our retailers and they deserve security.”
Julie Cass, who owns Akitts on Campbell Savours Way, said incidents of antisocial behaviour had increased in the town. She said: “Lately we’ve been having issues with teenagers gathering round the back of the shop.
“One day they were trying to set fire to some cardboard. But they also ratch around in the bins and leave a mess.
“I don’t know why, but they seem to be obsessed with getting into bins. It makes me feel better that there will be CCTV. I’m really happy that the landlord is implementing this.”
Last month vandals caused a spate of damage in the town centre. A guttering downpipe was pulled away from the wall at the O2 shop in Washington Square, a nearby litter bin was kicked and pulled out of the ground and a tree and its protective metal cage were pulled apart.
Lorraine Murphy, temporary sergeant, said: “The CCTV cameras being put up by the Workington town centre commercial management team are going to be a fantastic asset for us.
“We work closely with the centre to combat crimes such as antisocial behaviour and theft and the cameras will help us with any enquiries and in providing evidence.”
Allerdale council launched a consultation into plans to install gates on a back lane off Murray Road to tackle increasing antisocial behaviour there.
It comes after reports of antisocial behaviour and criminal damage have increased in the area in the past three years, including delivery drivers being spat at and intimidated with sticks, their vehicles being kicked, windows being smashed and back doors being kicked in.
The proposal is for a legal order to ban the public from accessing the lane, which runs from Murray Road, next to Subway, to Upton Street, next to Argos, when the gates are shut. People could be fined up to £1,000 if found breaching the ban.
The cost of installing the gates, which would be up to 10ft high, would be split between Workington Town Council and Allerdale council. Scoop only owns the Washington Square shopping centre, which does not include Murray Road.
Toni Magean, town centre manager for Allerdale council, said: “The consultation closed last week. The council needs to look at the responses and analyse them.”