Burglary victim says he’s pleased following announcement about Royston ANPR plan

Terry Oram stands next to the door of his house which was broken into in February 2015.

Terry Oram stands next to the door of his house which was broken into in February 2015. - Credit: Archant

A Royston man who was the victim of a burglary last year said he is pleased the head of policing in the area is fighting to get new ANPR cameras installed in the town.

Terry Oram called for a reinstatement of the Royston ‘ring of steel’ last year, after his home was raided by crooks.

At a town council meeting on Monday evening, Chief Insp Julie Wheatley said she is waiting on a privacy assessment to be done since she presented the case for two cameras to be installed after a recent spike in burglaries.

She said: “ANPR is not the panacea for all crime reduction, but it is an important piece of intelligence gathering. It has to be human rights compliant.

“When seven cameras were up, we struggled to justify that. However, with the rise in burglaries just before Christmas, it’s proportionate to add more cameras.”

Councillor Peter Burt was pleased with Chief Insp Wheatley’s proposal, saying: “If it helps to do a job, we should have it.”

Concerns were raised about the inspector’s plans by some councillors at the meeting, with Rod Kennedy citing that most criminals will use a stolen vehicle – so the cameras could track the wrong person.

Most Read

Chief Insp Wheatley replied: “Sometimes we do catch a face on an ANPR camera. It helps us to place vehicles. But I agree, sometimes ANPR will work really quickly, sometimes it won’t work whatsoever.”

Nick White, who lives in Barley, asked: “Do criminals only use A Roads? It’s a ring of steel with a gaping hole in it.”

Councillor Mark Hughes also asked: “What’s to stop them being switched off again?”

Wheatley replied that the response must be justifiable, but that: “Once we install it, that is it.

“It would be ludicrous to remove them if they are proportionate and necessary. They’d have to get past me first.”

After the meeting Terry, whose home was burgled in February last year, said he was pleased with the outcome. “I get the impression the inspector is on our side. She’s fighting a big battle with the powers that be.

“It just depends what is going to happen. I think the meeting was positive. I would prefer it if there were more cameras, but I understand they have to justify it,” he said.