POLICE are to crackdown on an area of a West Dorset town in an effort to stamp out drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.
Police, the town council and Raglan Housing Association will be working together to enhance security and get CCTV cameras to help with the crackdown on drug offences, anti-social behaviour and general criminality.
The area they are focussing on is South Street and the Dr Robert’s Close area of Bridport.
Bridport Insp Mike Darby said: “There are a number of issues with Dr Robert’s Close. There are allegations that drugs are being dealt there and there have been a number of offences committed recently there.
“We are going to pay close attention to what is happening in the area and dealing with offenders who come to light.”
He said CCTV was a useful tool and he would be asking partners West Dorset District Council about relocating mobile CCTV cameras.
Insp Darby added: “I will be speaking to them in relation to using that as part of our crime reduction partnership.”
The Bridport town centre CCTV system has been operating since 2002 and costs the town council around £4,000 in contributions – but it is money the council is happy to contribute.
Town clerk Bob Gillis, pictured above, said the council was very supportive of the cameras and would welcome more.
He said: “The town council sees them as a very good deterrent and there have been several good examples when the CCTV has been invaluable in identifying perpetrators.”
He said thanks to CCTV the man who tried to put a lit rag through Mountfield earlier this year was identified and a few years ago when the town hall was broken into during the refurbishment.
Mr Gillis added: “There are obviously a lot more where the police have used it.
“It is obviously a deterrent and allows the police to apprehend people when they are committing the crimes.”
Mr Gillis said there was already a mobile CCTV camera deployed in the town and that could be relocated.
He said: “If Dr Roberts Close is identified as a particular area they want to cover there is a mobile camera that the police, ourselves and West Dorset District Council are funding.
“Potentially we could look at relocating that camera.
“It the Police and Crime Commissioners are looking at areas they are keen to prioritise obviously we would be keen to work with them.
“The funding for CCTV is always under review like everything else these days so it is good to let the public know its value.”
Raglan Housing’s regional housing manager Maxine Hartwell said: “Preventing anti-social behaviour is a key priority for us and we are actively supporting and working with the police to reduce issues in the area.”
Other issues Bridport Police will be prioritising in the New Year are cyclists who ride on the pavement and pose a danger to pedestrians.
Cyclists have been warned they could face £50 fines.
Following shed and garage break ins the Bridport Safer Neighbourhood team will be providing reassurance with high visibility patrols and by visiting victims of crime to provide advice.
The team will also be holding sessions to postcode and mark property to deter thefts.