08:32 19 March 2015
Calls to bring back a controversial CCTV monitoring system have intensified after a string of burglaries in Royston.
In a particularly unsettling spate reported by the Crow earlier this month, four break–ins happened in a single day, with a Samsung Galaxy tablet computer, watches, jewellery and make-up all taken by intruders.
The burglaries have prompted a public discussion to bring back the Royston ‘ring of steel’ – the name given to a cordon of security cameras which monitored all cars going in and out of the town.
Police were ordered to switch off cameras after they were deemed unlawful in 2013.
In the wake of the recent crimes, Addo Addison, a chauffeur who lives in the Templars Gate development, created the Facebook group Royston for ANPR, which had 515 new members within 24 hours of going live.
Addo said: “I set up the group to get an idea of how many people would support bringing back the Royston ‘ring of steel’ and was overwhelmed by the response.
“I think it’s mainly people who have something to hide who are against the ANPR system.
“Everywhere you go you are watched on CCTV.”
Addo, along with other members of the community, plans to raise the issue at a town council meeting next Thursday at 7.30pm in Royston Town Hall.
Gary Crook, who lives in the town, said: “I support bringing back the ANPR system. It would make me feel a lot safer at night knowing something proactive is being done.
“Some will talk about Big Brother watching, but law abiding citizens have nothing to worry about. I’m all for it.”
Royston MP Sir Oliver Heald is backing the call to bring back the ANPR system and has contacted senior police officers to discuss what can be done.
He said: “I have written to the chief constable and I’m awaiting his response.
“I am also going to contact Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd.”