CCTV helps police identify suspects

PEOPLE in Selkirk appear to be responding positively to police pleas to report incidents of anti-social behaviour by young people.

Local officer PC Roy Brown, told last week’s meeting of the community council that 14 incidents of alleged youth disorder had been notified to the town’s station in the past month.

He was commenting after a delegation from the community council saw a demonstration of the town’s CCTV system before it met in the Victoria Halls.

During the visit, PC Brown said the recently updated digital system had helped identify two vandalism suspects in the previous week, leading to positive lines of enquiry into smashed windows.

“They act as a significant deterrent to criminal activity,” he said.

Community council chairman Gordon Edgar said he was “very impressed” with the cameras and how they were deployed.

“I would say that given the improvements to the system and the fact that footage can be enhanced at divisional headquarters in Hawick, Selkirk is well covered,” Mr Edgar told us. “We were shown how the cameras could be remotely directed and how they can zoom in to give images in very close detail. I think we have the balance right and any more cameras would result in a ‘big brother is watching you’ situation.”

Of 23 reported offences in the past month, the community council heard that nine had been solved. The successful detections included an adult charged with supplying alcohol to under-18s during a two-day foot patrol purge in March when vokda and beer were recovered.

Mr Edgar said he was encouraged that the public was informing the police of youth disorder.

He said: “There seems to be a culture of mistrust between young people, who mistakenly think it is cool to cause a nuisance, and the older generation,” he said. “We all have a responsibility to foster a culture of respect between the age groups.”

To that end, the community council agreed to donate £200 towards a summer programme of youth events at Rowlands dry bar in the town.

Selkirkshire councilors Carolyn Riddell-Carre and Kenneth Gunn agreed they would explore the possibility of having “no ball games” signs erected around the Sainsbury’s car park and Mungo Park areas.

“At any one time there can be up to 20 kids outside and properties are being damaged by having balls constantly kicked against them,” said a letter from residents.