Home Community and neighbourhoods For the Record: Foxes Bank Cemetery and CCTV

For the Record: Foxes Bank Cemetery and CCTV

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley Council has been made aware of a petition being circulated on social media asking for CCTV to be installed at Foxes Bank Cemetery in Whiston. The reason for this is stated as being “due to an increase in crime and anti-social behaviour.”

The council, who are responsible for the maintenance and management of the cemetery, have only been made aware of this via social media and have not been directly contacted to assess the need or viability of installing new CCTV at the cemetery. To ensure residents are properly informed before signing any petition, the council would like to clarify some key points.

Is there a specific problem with crime and anti-social behaviour at the cemetery?

According to Merseyside Police records, over the last year (Jan 2019 -Jan 2020) there have only been 9 concerns raised by the public (only one of which occured since March 2019) and no criminal or anti-social behaviour (ASB) incidents formally recorded.

There had previously been an issue raised with regard to the illegal and anti-social use of scrambler bikes on site. As a result, the council fitted bollards to restrict access when the cemetery is closed, which helped to resolve the issue.  Other measures included daily inspections by staff and signage promoting ‘quiet zones.’

The bollards which were installed to prevent 4x4 vehicles accessing the cemetery at Foxes Bank.

The bollards which were installed to prevent 4×4 vehicles accessing the cemetery at Foxes Bank.

If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour or are a victim of a crime you are encouraged to report this to Merseyside Police via 101 or use the online reporting tool.

 Would the council consider installing CCTV?

Where there are issues reported or a need identified the council will, wherever possible, take action with partners to tackle the problems being experienced. This can include the installation of CCTV, if the evidence suggests this as an appropriate solution – as has been seen in other areas such as Court Hey Park recently. A full assessment would be undertaken to identify the most appropriate solution which could involve other measures such as increased police patrols, additional lighting etc.

Knowsley Council has more than 850 CCTV cameras currently in service and monitored across the borough. These provide reassurance for shoppers, visitors and businesses alike and are located in areas identified as hotspots for crime.

Foxes Bank Cemetery has NOT been identified as a hotspot and therefore does not, due to the absence of evidence, fulfil the criteria to justify the installation of CCTV at this point in time. Should that situation change, the council would conduct an assessment and consider a the best way to resolve issues and ensure the cemetery remains a much-loved place of reflection for so many residents and visitors.

 A positive future for Foxes Bank

The council appreciates how important the cemetery is to residents from Knowsley and beyond and works hard to maintain and develop the site to benefit of all visitors.

There are plans already agreed to build a new Memorial Building at the cemetery and any future development on site will consider the integration of CCTV.