TOWN centres will get CCTV cameras worth tens of thousands of pounds after fears over anti-social behaviour. 

Council bosses have revealed how Rayleigh Town Council and Rochford Council has now set aside cash for the project, in the hope of driving down crime.

The town council has stumped up £33,000 for the scheme, while Rochford Parish Council will add more than £5,000 to the pot.

Rayleigh High Street will see four cameras installed, while one will be installed on Eastwood Road.

The other three cameras will be installed across Rochford town centre.

Mike Wilkinson, Independent councillor of the Wheatley ward, believes the project will go ahead now the funding has been agreed, despite previous concerns it would be pulled. 

He said: “To say the town council have done a u-turn is harsh, but they are now onboard with the scheme.

“I’m really confident now, and more so than ever. 

“We were looking at the scheme being dead in the water last year.

“We’re hearing positive noises from the council that they are happy too. They were dragging their heels before.”

Rayleigh was hit with a spike in anti-social behaviour problems in the summer of 2019 and 2020, prompting calls for CCTV to be introduced to catch those responsible.

Ian Ward, councillor in charge of planning, explained that residents can be hopeful for the future. 

He said: “We can be positive and optimistic now.

“We have set aside money now, and waiting for a concrete proposal from the working group.

“The incidents over the summers were shocking. The youths were being led astray by a group of bullies, unfortunately.”

The Lodge pub, on the Chase, was targeted by yobs in 2019, which saw pubgoers locked inside the pub until the thugs had moved on.

Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, was closely involved with Essex Police in clamping down on the poor behaviour.

The CCTV scheme is set to get the green light by Rochford Council, but this may not be until June.