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Call for cameras in village ‘underserved’ by CCTV

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Vandals hacked down a Christmas tree on Barton clifftop last year
Vandals hacked down a Christmas tree on Barton clifftop last year

A STRING of vandalism has prompted calls for CCTV to be installed at Barton clifftop amid claims the area is underserved by security coverage.

New Milton Town Council wants the camera placed near the toilet block off Marine Drive, by the site of a recent offence in which the village’s Christmas tree was chopped down.

Members of the finance and general purposes committee supported a recommendation to apply to New Forest District Council to add one there and include it in its current CCTV network.

Passing on Cllr Bob Murrow’s suggestion from a previous amenities committee meeting, fellow Barton ward councillor Alan O’Sullivan shared his concern at the amount of vandalism there.

“We had the new toilets completely graffitied, with red paint all over them which took ages to clean,” he said.

“There’s a shopfront that’s had to have four new locks fitted as it was being superglued all the time, and then the Christmas tree there was wrecked.”

As reported in the A&T, the £400 spruce was felled on the morning of Christmas Eve on the small triangle of grass by the Indian war memorial.

Funded by town councillor Dean Samber’s greengrocers Raise the Roots and

Shamrock Care Services, it was re-erected within hours by a good Samaritan, using supports.

Cllr O’Sullivan also cited previous beach hut vandalism, including 21 during one night in October last year. He suggested the camera should be positioned to capture footage of potential suspects heading towards the clifftop and down to the beach.

Cllr Steve Clarke argued that after the town council lost out on a round of funding about 10 years ago, it had been left with the fewest number of cameras out of any area in the Forest.

“I think it’s unfair to the residents of Barton – they need their fair share of cameras,” he said.

Cllr Geoffrey Blunden warned it may be a challenge convincing NFDC the site needs CCTV, but committee chair Cllr Steve Davies argued the authority would “fall in alongside us” if the town council was fully supportive.

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