VANDALISM, unruly yobs and two separate immigration incidents have led to a sailing club bidding to install CCTV.
Bosses at Emsworth Slipper Sailing Club want to put in seven cameras at the Grade II listed building, a former 18th century tide mill.
It comes after Border Force agents were called out twice to ‘border security issues’ in the harbour, there was an incident of arson, theft of outboard motors, illegal use of dinghies and vandalism.
The incidents took place ‘in and around Emsworth’ and included a near miss on the jetty, and abusive behaviour by youths on the jetty. It’s thought the immigration issues were in the wider harbour, not in Emsworth.
It comes after Havant’s council shut off its £154,000 CCTV network in 2016.
Giles Babb, who runs the Blue Bell Inn less than 400ft away, said: ‘This CCTV is good news. Cameras are a deterrent and if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t need to worry about them.
‘The rise in anti-social behaviour when the council shut off its cameras in 2016 was noticeable, but hopefully this will make people in the area feel safer.’
Ward councillor Rivka Cresswell said it was ‘worrying’ immigration issues had cropped up. Cllr Cresswell said: ‘It’s a bit too close for comfort.’
She added: ‘Those people must have been badly hurt to come over in these conditions – I feel sorry for them.’
Cllr Cresswell said she supports the application for CCTV cameras, and said: ‘Anti-social behaviour is totally unacceptable as far as I’m concerned.’
But she said the cause of such problems need to be looked at, including what facilities there are for youngsters.
Cameras are set to cover inside the club’s office, the whole front area of the club including beyond the sea wall, the mooring areas, slipway, road access to the east and both side and rear boat compounds. The sea wall and gate areas will also be covered.
The application by the club, which belongs to the Chichester Harbour Conservancy, added body-worn cameras were being trialled, new signage put in place and it was working with the police.
The application said incidents happened when ‘staff and police are either off duty or unavailable’.
Maria Court, shared services manager at the conservancy, said: ‘It will protect the public and our staff as well.’
It’s to keep the harbour safe for everybody.’