Setback for Lauder Road CCTV

Councillor Kenny Young is unhappy with the setback for CCTV in Lauder Road, Dalkeith
Councillor Kenny Young is unhappy with the setback for CCTV in Lauder Road, Dalkeith

Fears have been expressed that calls for CCTV cameras on Lauder Road, Dalkeith, have been “kicked into the long grass”.

At last week’s full council meeting, the Labour Group proposed that officials bring forward a report to the September meeting outlining whether and how closed circuit security cameras could improve safety.

In recent months Lauder Road has been the scene of a serious sexual assault, a mugging and a hotspot for youths throwing stones at buses.

However, an SNP counter motion was passed requesting officers bring forward a report to a future council meeting widening the scope of the study to identify other suitable sites.

Councillor Kenny Young (Lab) said: “I think people will definitely feel this has been kicked into the long grass. My hope was we could have got this report from officers and debated the issue at the next council meeting.

“I think that would have been the best conbination of urgency and getting all the information in front of us. Unfortunately that will not happen.”

SNP councillor Bob Constable explained he put forward the counter motion so a county-wide review of CCTV could take place.

Although his motion called for the report to be brought back to a future meeting, he agreed to a request from councillor Ian Baxter (Green) that the issue be dealt with by the end of the year.

Councillor Constable said: “We are looking for a report back from officers by the end of the year, November or December. It will give officials more time and the issue will include other sites around the county.

“Councillor Baxter was concerned about it ‘being kicked into the long grass’. I gave him an assurance it would be done by the end of the year.”

He pointed out that action had been taken on Lauder Road including the cutting back of vegetation and improving lighting.

Councillor Baxter said he preferred to see a commitment from the SNP that the CCTV issue was brought back before the end of the year.

Councillor Young continued: “I know people really wanted CCTV brought on the agenda but unfortunately it didn’t get there as urgently as I would have liked.

“People in the community, everybody, would have felt safer and better if the council has been willing to deal with this quickly.

“The CCTV issue on Lauder Road needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later and the fact that this hasn’t happened will disappoint people.”

Police issued a fresh appeal earlier this month following this sexual assault on June 28.