CCTV cameras are set to be installed at two blocks of flats in Newcastle in an effort to combat drug-related antisocial behaviour (ASB).
The surveillance equipment has been earmarked for the Dunkirk area of the town centre, where numerous instances of drugs activity and ASB have been reported in the past six months.
Cameras will be positioned at the Aspire Housing flats in Dunkirk Court and Greenside, to both deter incidents and capture evidence for Aspire and police to act upon.
Lee Flackett, Aspire’s Neighbourhood Co-ordinator, said: “Due to the levels of reported ASB and violence in the area, residents are understandably reluctant to give evidence or come forward as witnesses.
“This has resulted in Aspire having to take action against individuals, and long term we will be looking at a local lettings policy to tackle the issues currently being experienced in the Dunkirk area.
“However, tenants have welcomed the idea of having CCTV in place, which they say will make them feel safer and deter people from drug dealings or causing a nuisance.”
Staffordshire Police reported an increase in ASB, violence and drugs-related offences in the Dunkirk area from July to September this year, when a total of 75 separate incidents were recorded.
There are also concerns about a number of young and vulnerable care leavers living at Dunkirk Court and Greenside being targeted by drug dealers.
Councillor Tony Kearon, the Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities and Social Cohesion, said: “Residents need to be reassured that drug and alcohol-related ASB is taken seriously and will not be tolerated in Newcastle, and we will continue to work with Aspire, the Police and our other partners using every means possible to tackle these problems.”
It is expected that the CCTV cameras will be put in place at the Dunkirk flats early in the new year.
The project has been supported by the Newcastle Partnership’s Joint Operations Group.