Park pranks to be filmed?

NUISANCE yobs drinking and loitering in a Cheddar park could soon be caught on camera.

NUISANCE yobs drinking and loitering in a Cheddar park could soon be caught on camera.

Police in the village have requested a security camera to keep a watchful eye on youths behaving badly when the nights start to get lighter.

The news comes after officers at Sedgemoor District Council received numerous complaints about antisocial behaviour in the village from concerned residents.

The calls were logged on the authority's Antisocial Behaviour Hotline, which was set up in 2006.

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Community safety officer Lucy Macready said: "We have had several calls from people reporting youths drinking and causing a nuisance in the Bath Street area but the police have put a request in for a camera at Hannah More Park because they think when the nights get lighter the kids will be hanging out there."

The park, off Lower North Street, is in a badly-lit part of the village and often has beer and cider cans left in it after gangs of youths have spent time there.

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When a request for a camera is made, officers at the council visit the area to check for power supplies and see how much light the spot gets. The proposal is then sent to a steering group which looks at the type of problems being experienced in the area and decide whether or not a camera is needed.

The district currently has two cameras which can be deployed throughout the Sedgemoor area.

The control centre at the authority's headquarters in Bridgwater also receives and logs calls from residents in West Somerset after the district authority contracted the work to Sedgemoor.

The hotline now receives around five to 15 calls a day on problems varying from fly-tipping and litter, to more serious threats such as arson, noise and harassment.

Anyone wishing to report antisocial behaviour in Sedgemoor can call 0800 585360.

* While pupils are on half-term holidays this week, police have warned they will be keeping a close watch on youngsters in the county.

Licensees across Somerset have been sent letters reminding them of the importance of checking ages when selling alcohol and police officers will be making additional patrols in parks and open spaces to ensure they are not being frequented by youngsters misusing alcohol.

The scheme is part of Somerset Tackling Alcohol Related Crime (STARC) which is run in conjunction with councils, Somerset Primary Care Trust and Avon and Somerset Police.

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