Shropshire Star

'You will be caught': Warning to criminals over Oswestry CCTV expansion

A warning has gone out to travelling crime gangs who prey on Oswestry – "If you come here, you will be caught".


It follows an agreement for a major expansion of the town's CCTV system which will include the installation of a camera on Gobowen Road, a busy entrance to the town.

The camera will have the ability to monitor traffic entering and leaving Oswestry and will have ANPR facility to enable vehicle registration plates to be recorded.

A total of three new cameras will be used in Oswestry to track travelling criminals and also to help tackle anti-social behaviour.

A new camera is to go up in the Castlefields area of the town while a mobile camera will also be made available to tackle trouble hotspots.

Mayor Vince Hunt said: “This is giving out a strong message to criminals to stay out of Oswestry. It you are coming into town to enjoy yourself then you have nothing to fear.

“But if you are coming in to commit crime or misbehave, then you will be caught.”

He revealed that some years ago he had a quad bike stolen from the back of a trailer while he was visiting a company on the Oswestry industrial estate. “They were travelling thieves who were out onto the A5 and away very quickly,” he said.

The town’s CCTV co-ordinator Jim Stafford said the cameras move was made possible thanks to a successful bid for £6,500 to West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion. He said: “Rules over CCTV funding have now changed and grants can only be made if there is a promise of matched funding from elsewhere.

“We were only able to make a bid thanks to Oswestry Town Council agreeing to provide its own award of £6,500.”

Mr Stafford, a former police inspector, said the Gobowen Road camera would target travelling criminals. He said: “If there is a crime – from thefts to a major incident – tracking vehicles can be vital in tracing the culprits.”

Inspector Tracy Ryan said: “We want to make Oswestry as uninviting as possible to the criminals.

“We are very grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner and Oswestry Town Council for jointly funding this expansion.

“Where we do have pockets of anti-social behaviour we can install a mobile camera to keep an eye on things.”

Oswestry Town Councillor Chris Schofield welcomed the news.

“Castlefields will be covered after some disturbances up there so I think it’s a good idea,” he said.