Local residents more concerned with ‘preserving the area’ than installing CCTV in meadows
Apparently scenic views come before safety
Local residents have opposed a petition to increase CCTV as thousands sign to increase safety measures in the meadows.
This comes after a number of attacks on women in the area over the last few months.
A 19-year-old student was attacked on 15th November as she made her way home near Jawbone walk.
Elizabeth Kerry, accommodation manager for Meadow Court, decided to start the petition after helping police try to establish the direction the attacker had come from using CCTV facing Sciennes.
According to the petition, when Ms Kerry asked police about CCTV cameras within the Meadows she said: “I was astounded by their response, that any suggestion of better lighting, cutting back trees and installing CCTV cameras was met with huge opposition from some local residents who are concerned with preserving the area”.
The petition – which has been up since November – received over 2,000 signatures in it’s first 4 days.
In her response to the petition Sarah Burns, the Neighborhood Manager for the South Neighborhood, said: “officers are arranging for a CCTV assessment to be carried out so that the feasibility of installing CCTV can be considered, including estimated costs”.
Councillor Mark McInnes told the Edinburgh Evening News: “I definitely support the use of CCTV. There are quite a few issues that go hand-in-hand with implementing a policy like that, but it’s a major deterrent for criminals.”
There were previous demands for CCTV in both 2007 and 2012 but nothing was done.
In a 2007 report, it states that students from Edinburgh University approached the council to suggest that CCTV be installed to combat crime within the meadows.
But the report responded by stating that “as the area has a large number of trees, CCTV coverage would be difficult in terms of sight lines, shadows and seasonal changes” and that “local residents opposed” the idea.
The petition has been signed by many students who see CCTV as a sensible solution to crime in the Meadows.
Fresher Ruairidh Nichols said: “Surely preserving the moral character of the area is more important than how picturesque it is.”
Second year Art History student Hila Chenzbraun said: “I think seeing as there is a lot of CCTV being used in most places anyway, I don’t see the problem with it being used for safety reasons in the meadows.”
The attack in November is one of many in a long history of crime in the meadows.
In 2011 two women were sexually assaulted within days of each other and in 2012 a man was punched to the ground in an unprovoked attack.
In response to this, Chemical Engineering student Ellie Pilks said: “Clearly there’s a need for CCTV as the most recent attack is not a one-off event. It’s not like it’s a listed building or that they’re planning on putting a wind turbine in the middle of the meadows”.
The suspect of the most recent attack, 22-year-old Steven Andrew Davidson, was remanded in custody in December.