CCTV to stop nuisance drivers in Market Drayton could go up in new year

Cameras to deter anti-social drivers who torment Market Drayton residents late at night could go up in early 2020.

'Boy racers' are a common problem at the two Towers Lawn car parks near the town centre, residents say. The town council is working with police and Shropshire Council in a bid to deter them with surveillance cameras.

People who live at nearby Smithfield Road complained to West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), John Campion, when he came to town for a meeting in September. They said they were disturbed by loud engine noises, screeching tyres and blaring music.

At the meeting, Market Drayton Town Council vowed to get CCTV cameras installed in the area and now they say they have made progress.

The cameras could include two standard CCTV systems and one capable of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to help track people involved in anti-social behaviour.

They would be installed on lampposts at the car parks, which are owned by Shropshire Council.

Police could identify problem drivers and issue notices under Section 59 of the Police and Reform Act. Officers can seize and remove vehicles which they believe are being driven carelessly and causing distress.

Town clerk Julie Jones said: "The police have said they want ANPR. The police can't sit there night after night but if they can get good evidence then they can progress something they've already got.

"They can take it further and take their cars off them.

"We have already met with a couple of CCTV contractors and we have already met with Shropshire Council's street lighting department.

"We're also in touch with the PCC's office to see if they can help us with some money towards it.

"We're waiting on quotes to come in now from the contractors. We've done all the legwork, we're just waiting on the information to come back in."

She said the council is "hoping they can go up in the new year".

Councillor Roy Aldcroft said at a meeting last week: "We were at a public meeting with the police and crime commissioner, we asked them about getting cameras up to stop the anti-social behaviour on Towers Lawn.

"This council made a commitment to get cameras on Towers Lawn One, possibly Two. The police told us we can put cameras up and we have had a walk around with them and they've shown us where they think the best places for the cameras to go would be."

He was speaking at a meeting of the town council's services and facilities committee.

He said that a network of cameras could also cover the nearby roundabout at Cheshire Street and Frogmore Road.

"There's a lot of work to do before we go greenlight," he added.

"We made a public promise that we would get cameras up."

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council's director for public health, said: “The health and safety of Shropshire residents is of critical importance to Shropshire Council.

“While Shropshire Council is not responsible for CCTV at the Towers Lawn car parks in Market Drayton, it is the town council who run and finance the scheme, we are supportive of the town council in their bid to install CCTV to deter anti-social drivers.”

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