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Big Brother cameras to target more flashpoints

PUBLISHED: 16:20 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:25 23 August 2010

A RADIO and CCTV network is to be extended to cover the borough s trouble spots - including the area where snowball yobs attacked a hearse. The plan will see the G-Safe initiative, an initiative to assist traders, extended to six locations from the end o

A RADIO and CCTV network is to be extended to cover the borough's trouble spots - including the area where snowball yobs attacked a hearse.

The plan will see the G-Safe initiative, an initiative to assist traders, extended to six locations from the end of February.

It will be enlarged to cover areas including Perry Street, Denton, Valley Drive, Echo Square and Northfleet High Street by radio.

A new CCTV camera covering the Lion Garage area of Rochester Road will also be introduced.

Councillor John Cubitt, cabinet member for public safety, said: "We are pleased to be able to expand this great initiative which has played such a vital role in curbing crime and anti-social behaviour in Gravesend.

"Widening the coverage is a tremendous step towards deterring crime and disorder to create an even safer environment for shoppers and business alike."

Gravesham's Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership's G-Safe initiative was launched seven years ago, linking businesses by radio to the council's CCTV room and police.

Since G-Safe started there has been an 11 per cent reduction in town centre business-related crime, such as shoplifting and vandalism and a 32 per cent cut in overall crime in the borough.

Operating day and night, restaurants, eateries, pubs, bars and nightclubs are encouraged to join the scheme.

Working together to reduce night-time crime and defuse potential threats is an important part of the scheme.

Businesses outside the radio coverage area can join with website access for a reduced fee.

Members get information about offenders and those in radio contact can help spot and track suspects by contacting CCTV operators.

Shoplifters and pickpockets are amongst those who have been arrested due to the vigilance of G-Safe members. Members display striking "I'm In" stickers to show they are part of the programme.

To join call Michael Whiting, crime reduction co-ordinator, Gravesham Borough Council on 01474 33 78 03 or email michael.whiting@gravesham. gcsx.gov.uk Visit www.g-safe.org.uk

G-Safe stands for Gravesham Safe And Free Environment.

n HOTSPOTS for anti-social behaviour are being targeted as part of a three-month police initiative.

On Monday neighbourhood police officers started the dedicated car and patrol scheme running until March 31.

Focusing on Denton, Northfleet, Singlewell and Pelham wards, Gravesham Borough Council's CCTV operators will also assist.

Police officers will use new handheld computers, allowing them to pull up information on those they meet on patrol.

Sergeant Andy Lewis, who is leading the operation, said: "Operations to combat anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and nuisance youths have been a success in each of the locations and this operation has been put in place to carry the momentum forward and ensure problems do not creep back in."

Two officers will staff the dedicated patrol car from 2pm to midnight.

To report anti-social behaviour call 014 7436 6366.

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