Exmouth church resorts to CCTV to halt unholy behaviour including vandalism, abuse of volunteers and even drug-dealing in grounds

An Exmouth church blighted by vandalism, abuse of volunteers, and even drug-dealing, in its grounds hopes CCTV can halt the unholy behaviour.

Proposals have been submitted to install seven security cameras covering the interior and exterior of Holy Trinity Church in Rolle Road.

The bid last night (Monday) won the backing of town councillors – who said there had been ‘some quite nasty incidents’ at the venue.

Littleham cum Exmouth Parochial Church Council treasurer Robert Soutter has told planning authority East Devon District Council (EDDC) of problems inside and outside of the holy landmark.

Mr Soutter said ‘petty vandalism’, ‘abusive treatment’ of volunteers in the church coffee bar, and candles being lit had resulted in the church having to be kept locked.

He also referred to incidences of ‘drug-dealing and drug abuse’, rough sleepers and other ‘undesirable behaviour’.

“The police are recommending the installation of cameras,” said Mr Soutter in correspondence with EDDC.

“The installation of cameras will not impact upon the church in terms of historic fabric.

“The location of each camera has been researched, checked and subsequently approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee, some members of whom have physically visited the site.”

Exmouth Town Council’s planning committee supported the CCTV plan.

Councillor Lynne Elson said there had been ‘a number of difficulties with people in the grounds and in the foyer’.

Cllr Brian Toye added: “There have been some quite nasty incidents there, so it is necessary from a security point of view.”

East Devon District Council (EDDC) will decide the fate of the application.

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