PLANS to install a CCTV system around anti-social behaviour hotspots in Malmesbury are underway. 

The main aim of this project is to deter disruptive behaviour such as vandalism in the town centre, but the cameras will also be used to assist future police investigations.

Town mayor Gavin Grant says he hopes to see the installation process completed before he hangs up his mayoral robe and gold chain at the beginning of May. 

Market Cross has not had a surveillance system for many years, so Malmesbury Town Council have been in discussions with neighbouring towns such as Royal Wootton Bassett about what high quality and cost effective options are out there.  

Reports of vandalism and anti-social behaviour within the town have risen since the pandemic, culminating in the Malmesbury Abbey burglary in November. 

Special silver used during communion and ornaments were among items stolen from the architectural landmark, and burial place of Athelstan, the first King of England, on Thursday, November 16.

The mayor says CCTV footage would have significantly helped this investigation. 

So far, Wiltshire Council has removed several street lighting columns in Cross Hayes, Market Cross, High Street and Gloucester Street which will be replaced with new steel lamp posts in preparation for the surveillance system installation. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: An example of the type of CCTV cameras that could be installed in Malmesbury An example of the type of CCTV cameras that could be installed in Malmesbury (Image: Camilla Foster)

Cllr Grant said: "There has been a longstanding demand for CCTV in Malmesbury, not least from our town centre business owners and residents. 

"Whenever we have any kind of incidents in the two car parks or the town centre, concerned parties have come looking for CCTV only to be disappointed. 

"Also, it is a proven fact that CCTV is a significant deterrent. 

"I apologise for any disruption the removal and replacement of certain street lighting posts has created but this is all for an excellent cause.

"I promised as mayor that I would work hard to make our beautiful town a safer, more inclusive, greener and more resilient place during my year of office.

"The installation of CCTV is a significant step towards this and I am delighted to see it happening at last."