Council CCTV misses crime in Rainham

A RAINHAM man is furious thieves broke into his car while it was parked under a CCTV camera which was looking the other way.

Jason Mauro, 44, parked his silver Toyota Celica directly under a CCTV camera in a car park near his flat in New Plymouth House in Dunedin Road, presuming it would be safe.

But the car was broken into overnight between Wednesday 2, and Thursday 3, February, two of his windows were smashed and a DVD, Sat Nav and stereo system worth ₤400 was stolen.

Despite parking it close to the council-controlled camera it failed to pick up the incident as it was facing the opposite direction.

Mr Mauro said: “I parked my car directly under the camera on purpose and felt happy it would be safe.

“You couldn’t get any nearer to the camera than where I parked it.”

He said when he spoke to the council the day he discovered the break in he was told the camera had been pointing the opposite direction and failed to capture the thieves.

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Mr Mauro said this is the second time his car has been targeted in the same car park and cameras have failed to pick up any footage.

The first was 12 months ago when a wine bottle shattered his back window.

He said: “What the hell is the camera looking at if it doesn’t see these incidents? The council sings the praises of the cameras but they are missing what is directly beneath them.

“It’s (the camera) there to stop crime, but this is not a great sign. I’m conscious that it is not worth a carrot, and I am paying for it every week.

“Someone could be murdered, raped or stabbed. I’m not confident the camera would help.

“I’m upset because I am paying for this service and it feels like a waste of money.”

A spokeswoman for Homes in Havering, which manages New Plymouth House and the camera, said: “We are sorry that Mr Mauro had his vehicle broken into and we are currently investigating his complaint about the CCTV coverage.”

She added there are two CCTV cameras operating at the site. One monitors the entrance while the other covers part of the outside area.

She said: “Both cameras were working at the time of the incident, but unfortunately neither captured the event when it occurred.”

Tenants pay �1.20 per week for the CCTV cameras that are permanently based on site at New Plymouth House.

There are 186 CCTV cameras operating in the borough, which is in the top 25 per cent nationally for CCTV watching us.

Havering Council spent almost ₤2million on CCTV cameras in the past three years.

The cameras are not popular with some residents. Last year tenants of Homes in Havering called for an overhaul of ‘unfair’ CCTV charges after arguing they were footing the bill for a service enjoyed by everyone.

Last month residents at Talbot Court in Lennox Close, Romford, had charges worth ₤13,000 struck off after they were being billed for CCTV they did not have. The confusion was blamed on an updated door-entry system.