New CCTV to be installed to protect monument

AN extra £5,000 has been earmarked to step up security around the 1514 Memorial.

Additional CCTV cameras have been proposed for closer to the monument in light of last week’s vandalism attack, which saw around one-metre of the flag pole broken off.

The money is being sought from Scottish Borders Council’s small schemes budget and was agreed after a site visit by local councillors, SBC officials and inspector Paula Clark of Lothian and Borders Police.

Councillor Stuart Marshall, who organised the meeting, said: “I am delighted with the response of the outcome of last week’s meeting. I feel that this project will be a major step forward in deterring those who repeatedly set out to vandalise this historic monument.

“I have been given assurances that barring any last minute hitches these cameras could be in working order in a matter of weeks.”

As well as the vandalism attack, the statue – which commemorates the Battle of Hornshole in 1514 – was also subject to a Halloween prank when a fancy dress head was placed on it.

And while the latter culprit has today apologised in a letter to the Hawick News, police are still appealing for witnesses to come forward to catch those responsible for the most recent incident.

Inspector Clark said: “Any further assistance from additional CCTV within the town centre area will be invaluable. ”

While a council spokesperson added: “Money has been identified for this small scheme but investigations to see how useful it will be to upgrade the cameras are at an early stage.”

Meanwhile, Hawick MSP John Lamont has called on the government to take a tougher line on criminals who wreak havoc in communities.

He said: “The people carrying out these crimes are utterly irresponsible. It is important that they know how dismayed the people of Hawick feel about the thoughtless acts they commit. It is only right that they feel the full anger of the local community and they face the full consequences of the law.”

n Letters, p12