CCTV cameras to be installed on Newmarket's Yellow Brick Road
Residents’ calls for CCTV cameras on Newmarket’s Yellow Brick Road footpath have been heeded by councillors.
This week’s announcement of a new security scheme follows a number of initiatives driven locally by residents to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour as well as regenerate the area around the path which links the town centre with Studlands Park.
The CCTV cameras are being provided by Forest Heath District Council as part of its work to improve community safety as well as tackle County Lines drug crime with which the town has been linked, and members of Newmarket Town Council will be considering funding the ongoing running costs of the project when they meet next week.
Last year, more than 250 people signed a petition, set up by resident Charlotte Green, for CCTV on the pathway which had developed a reputation for violent crime after a spate of muggings, attempted robberies and attacks.
Recent incidents going back to 2016 include a man being stabbed eight times after two men demanded his wallet; a woman being approached on the path and being marched at knifepoint to a cashpoint in an attempted mugging, a woman being punched in face then cut with a knife during an assault which left her with a broken jaw and, this summer, a teenage girl was assaulted and robbed.
Newmarket district councillor Robin Millar, who is providing £6,000 to fund two cameras and who is portfolio holder for community safety, said: “We have listened to residents and I am pleased that we are part of bringing this partnership together and also being able to buy these movable cameras. These cameras won’t solve everything; but as part of a wider programme they will help people feel safe.”
Newmarket’s mayor, Cllr Rachel Hood, said: “Newmarket Town Council have been following up on the issues raised at the annual town meeting. We are very aware that residents have a number of concerns including the safety of the area and we have allocated some funds in our budget to help address the issues raised. We are committed to supporting improvements along the Yellow Brick Road.”
Ed Wombwell, chairman of the Friends of the Yellow Brick Road, volunteers who have been working to improve the area, said: “I want to thank the people who come along to our public meetings for directing attention to their understandable focus on safety. Hopefully the introduction of cameras will now encourage more people to get involved in the projects we are doing to make the Yellow Brick Road a safer, green corridor.”
Supt Kim Warner, county policing commander for West Suffolk, added: “The force wants to ensure the county remains a hostile environment for those involved in the supply of drugs and we hope these improvements to CCTV in the Yellow Brick Road area of Newmarket will reassure residents.”