HOW sad that Northallerton Town council has to consider installing CCTV to watch over the town's play areas and parks, before they can consider putting in new play equipment. But as councillor John Prest has pointed out this is not a new phenomena, so many times in the past equipment has been damaged or vandalised, so it doesn't seem this problem has necessarily got worse, it's just now something new can be done about it

The argument for and against CCTV has long raged, and we're not wading into that no win situation at the current time, however we must applaud the town council for being prepared to grasp the nettle and see what can be done to try and protect and preserve these precious areas.

Because that is what they are, not only for parents and children but for all residents, these green field hearts and lungs are special places in the middle of our towns, open to the whole community, free and hopefully safe.

So as well as asking the police to step up their presence, there is a need for everybody to take extra care of these places, residents are to be asked to become friends of the park and that seems eminently sensible. It will presumably cost thousands to instal CCTV to cover these parks if it does go ahead, and that will be council taxpayers money, so perhaps as well as throwing money at the problem the people of the town will be encouraged to invest their time and care as well.

The argument is that CCTV could help identify those involved in causing damage or indulging in anti social behaviour, so risking prosecution. Anything that stops what should be a fun and safe area being turned into a threatening and unwelcome place has to be worth considering.