Breakthrough in Haugh CCTV fight

THE campaign to make Haugh Road safer had its first major breakthrough last weekend.

Thursday, 22nd July 2010, 12:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd July 2010, 12:54 pm

Workers from North Lanarkshire Council spent four days cutting back trees and bushes separating the trouble spot from Glasgow Road.

Campaign organiser Cheryl Anderson is glad progress is being made, but is determined to fight for tougher measures

She said: "I'm pleased that something has happened already and the campaign is seeing results, but that's just a start. We still do need the CCTV to make it a safer place for people to walk."

The organisers braved the elements on Saturday afternoon, asking shoppers on Main Street to sign the petition in support of the cause.

Cheryl added: "Everybody was really supportive and saying it's about time something is done. A lot of people feel strongly about it because so many walk that way every day."

More than 1100 Kilsythians have added their name to the document so far and a further 450 people have joined the Facebook group 'CCTV for the HOG'S in Kilsyth'.

You can sign the petition in most shops on Main Street.

Inspector Stephen Hazlett said: "In line with our problem solving policy a joint survey of the area was conducted with police and ground maintenance staff from NLC and it was established that the area would benefit greatly from a programme of tree and shrubbery clearance.

"Ground maintainance staff have agreed the scope of the works with the police and have moved swiftly to ensure that the works are completed as quickly as possible in order to greatly improve the visibility of the area for users of the footpaths and reduce the perception of the fear of crime.

"I must stress that this area very rarely is the cause of calls to the police and it is hoped that the improvements will make the area feel safer and reduce the tendency for anyone to hang about the area."

POLITICIANS PLEDGE SUPPORT

THE crusade to make Haugh Road safer has been ongoing for more than a month.

The first signs of progress have begun to show after council workers chopped back the overgrown trees and bushes between the trouble spot and Glasgow Road.

However, concerned parents behind the movement have vowed to keep fighting for CCTV to be installed.

Councillor David Key met with the organisers and some supporters of the campaign, deeming their efforts "first class".

He said: "Given that Garrell Vale is a community education centre and there are people of all ages using it regularly, it needs to be safe.

The evidence would suggest it's not - we need to improve that.

"While CCTV would be a step forward, it doesn't stop crime, it records it. I think we need more than that. What the organisers are doing is first class and is raising public awareness."

Councillor Mark Griffin added: "This is a secluded area with lots of overgrown trees and bushes which provide cover for anyone hiding in the area and so is a danger to those walking on their own.

"I have arranged a meeting with the campaign organisers, area regeneration manager and local police on Friday to see what can be done about the situation."

Central Scotland MSP Jamie Hepburn has also thrown his weight behind the cause.

He said: "It is clear from the large numbers who have signed the petition that local people will feel safer if CCTV is installed.

"It is also good to see that the Kilsyth Chronicle has given its backing to the campaign. I hope that the Council, the police, and local residents will work together to ensure people using Haugh Road and the surrounding area can continue to feel safe and secure going about their daily business."

Local MP Gregg McClymont said: "I am delighted that the people of Kilsyth are being proactive about the need to make the area safer. My advice to local residents now is to meet with the police and the council to consider the full range of measures that could be implemented to tackle this problem - from CCTV to practical, sensible environmental improvements."