Victims of vandals call for improved CCTV

An improved and expanded surveillance network in and around the High Street is needed to tackle the menace of wanton vandalism, local business operators have said.

The calls follow a recent spate of smashed windows at town centre shops and the reported failure of police to identify the culprits from CCTV footage.

Vandals have shattered glass panes at the premises of British Heart Foundation and the Hawick Fryer in recent weeks, and the lady in charge of the charity shop told the Hawick News that police were unable to identify the person responsible for the damage.

Jackie Megahy, manager at British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s something every week. So often, somebody gets their windows done in.

“I phoned the police and they told me the CCTV didn’t work. I think everybody knows that it doesn’t work and I’m worried it will happen again.

“There should be more cameras that work or there should be more police on the street on a Saturday night.

“We can’t afford to pay to replace our windows every few weeks, because we struggle as it is. That comes off our profit from the nice folk who donate to the shop.”

Ms Megahy advertised a plea for donations to help subsidise the cost of a £700 replacement window, and businessman Steven Porter from Porter’s Porches kindly agreed to carry out the work at the cost price of £300 and donated his labour free of charge.

Meanwhile, surveillance coverage should stretch to beyond the High St, says Ben Ferahi, owner of the Hawick Fryer, the Bourtree Place takeaway that last week had a small pane of glass kicked in late at night.

“I’m for CCTV, because anything can happen,” said Mr Ferahi. “After the clubs close on a Friday and a Saturday, that’s the only time in the whole week we would need it. People and businesses need to be protected. For people who smash these windows, it’s so easy.”

A spokesperson for SBC said: “Cameras are installed with the primary function of preventing crime and providing reassurance to the public.

“The council can reassure the public that the cameras are of the standard and quality required.”