Drug dealing and anti-social behaviour forces church into extra CCTV plan

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 January 2020

Holy Trinity Church at night. Ref exe 4403-52-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Holy Trinity Church at night. Ref exe 4403-52-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton


Drug dealing and anti-social behaviour have forced an Exmouth church to lodge plans for seven new CCTV cameras.

Holy Trinity Church, in Rolle Street, wants to install seven new security cameras as it looks to crack down on criminal behaviour.

A planning application, submitted by Littleham cum Exmouth Parochial Parish Council (PPC), gives drug dealing and abuse outside the church as one of the reasons for additional security.

In the application, Robert Soutter, treasurer of the PCC, also said there has been vandalism and abuse of volunteers inside the church.

According to Mr Soutter, police have recommended the extra CCTV cameras be installed.

Exmouth inspector Antonia Weeks said there is no specific information about drug abuse but Holy Trinity has suffered with criminal damage and roughs sleepers.

She said: "Holy Trinity is no different to any other town centre site and it's quite open with public access through it.

"In essence it's like a public park with a church in it.

"I think they had some criminal damage recently and were probably given general crime prevention advice which include consideration of CCTV installation.

"A year or so ago a couple of people pitched a tent in their grounds to sleep in."

Exmouth Town Council is in the process of upgrading town centre CCTV network.

Mayor Steve Gazzard has encouraged anyone looking to get their own system to liaise with the town council.

He said: "If someone in the town is looking to get CCTV I would suggest that they contact the town clerk with a view to a possible link up."

East Devon District Council will have the final say on the application.

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