CCTV footage catches bike thieves

CONTROVERSIAL CCTV cameras installed during the re-building of Nailsea School have helped catch two bike thieves red-handed.

The school was criticised when the security measure was added in 2009 for being an invasion of pupils’ privacy.

But footage of two men breaking into the cycle sheds using bolt croppers led local PC Adam Clarke, working with the school, to identify the culprits.

And within a fortnight a man was arrested in Weston by an off-duty police officer who recognised him from the CCTV images.

The thief admitted bolt cropping the locks off the cycle shelters to steal bikes, which were not locked, and admitted several other thefts from the Weston area.

The Mizzymead Road school said the CCTV evidence played a ‘crucial part’ in catching him.

Operations manager Chris Perry said: “Concerns were expressed about the cameras and what they would be used for.

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“It was even suggested that they were a step too far in a school.

“But following thefts of bicycles from the car park, the recorded footage identified two individuals.

“Undoubtedly without the CCTV they would have continued to carry out these thefts.”

The school was told that neither of them live in Nailsea or have associations with the school, but do have ‘some local connections’.

It said the thieves were unable to get into any areas where students were.

Mr Perry added: “The school is grateful to the police for their prompt actions, and hope this will act as a deterrent to others.

“This joint effort between the school and the police shows that by reporting crime and use of CCTV, positive results can be achieved.”

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