Dartford Council say no to CCTV but yes to radio scheme following Longfield robbery
A NEW radio security system could be installed in Longfield following two violent crimes.
Robert Bourne, who runs Bourne and Kemp Jewellers in Station Road, called on Dartford Council to introduce CCTV in the village after his shop was the victim of a smash and grab and an armed robbery within two weeks of each other in July.
Mr Bourne, who has run his business for 23 years, said Longfield is a soft target because it's on the train line from London. and easier to make a quick getaway.
The 65-year-old said a petition he set up calling for CCTV had the backing of 90 per cent of businesses in the village.
In a letter to the council, he wrote: "If we do not send out a message that we won’t tolerate anti-social and criminal behaviour in our village, then matters will only get worse."
On September 12, the council’s cabinet decided not to install monitored CCTV, which would have cost £65,026 to set up and up to £5,000 a year to operate.
Councillors decided a system would only work with a good communication system and, as such, agreed to support the setting up of a town centre radio system if village retailers backed it.
Under the system, businesses, the council and the police would be equipped with two-way radios which they could use to make each other aware of concerns and monitor incidents.
Council leader Jeremy Kite, who represents Longfield, New Barn and Southfleet, offered to use his personal member’s fund to back the town centre radio scheme or short term passive CCTV.
A council spokesman said: "Crimes like these are frightening and threatening to honest, hard-working retailers who are doing nothing but offering good service to the local community.
"Our response must be robust and practical and the cabinet hopes it has made a good start with its decision last Thursday."
Mr Bourne said: "It is the right kind of noise, it is just a question of timescales really."