AN ARDENT campaigner has welcomed a successful Echo campaign to improve security at Southend’s trouble tower blocks, but says there are still battles to be won.
Del Thomas, a Tory activist and street pastor, backed this paper’s bid to have CCTV installed in the four Queensway high-rises – Malvern, Chiltern, Pennine and Quantock.
Last month, after a year-long campaign, South Essex Homes announced it would spend £30,000 on the cameras.
Mr Thomas welcomed the move, but argued there were still more issues to be tackled.
He said: “The new CCTV is great news and I have seen a marked improvement in the cleanliness of the lifts in my last couple of visits.
“I know the caretakers now feel safer because of this and I hope that the residents feel a little bit more secure.
“However, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in relation to the security of the flats.”
We launched our campaign for drastic improvements to help residents plagued by crime, drug dealing and antisocial behaviour after a grisly killing in November 2011.
The death of Christopher Ryan, killed at his flat in Malvern in a drugs robbery, left hundreds of residents fearing for their safety.
The lack of CCTV in lifts became the focal point of people’s concern.
However, Mr Thomas said further improvements were still needed.
He called for a concierge system, CCTV in the tower blocks’ stairwells and a more secure entry system as the best way to truly put residents’ minds at ease.