Chief inspector will present a case for more ANPR cameras in a bid to tackle Royston burglary hike


ANPR - Credit: Archant

A spike in burglaries in Royston has prompted the head of policing in the area to look at introducing more ANPR cameras to help catch the culprits.

There have been 19 burglaries in the town since October, and Chief Insp Julie Wheatley says she is determined to bring the offenders to book.

The ANPR system of seven cameras that used to operate in the town – labelled locally as the ‘Royston Ring of Steel’ – was deemed unlawful by the Information Commissioner’s Office back in 2013.

That ruling led to five of the cameras being removed.

But due to the recent surge in break-ins, Chief Insp Wheatley is preparing the case for more cameras to be put up to monitor a known problem area – at a location which has not been revealed – which she will present to the strategic ANPR team tomorrow. Intelligence gathered by police suggests the threat is coming from across the county border, by crooks in cars.

At a meeting this week involving the Crow, founder of campaign group Royston for ANPR Addo Addison, and safer neighbourhood team sergeant Guy Westwood, Chief Insp Wheatley said: “Mobile cameras have been put in place as an interim measure.

“Due to the current crime trends, an additional camera would be a benefit. We know that the offenders are a regional threat as well as a local one.

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“One burglary is a burglary too many. I am on the side of the people, but I also have to take into account the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office – it must be justifiable.”

After the meeting, Addo said: “I have got a positive outlook. It was a very productive meeting.”

Police are also appealing for help tracking a man in connection with burglaries in the area. The man, who is in his late teens or early 20s, was seen walking down the side of a property in Garden Walk at about 6.55am on Sunday, December 6.

When he was approached by a member of the public, he said he was confused and had got the wrong road. The man has light brown hair, and is short and of medium/light build. Anyone with information can call police on 101.