Well-off want estate fenced in: Burglars' targets consider US-style security with guards and cameras
The residents have been asked by their local community security committee whether they would be in favour of the system, including round-the-clock security patrols and cameras. The plan would include erecting heavy gates or barriers at five entrances to the houses at Darras Hall, Ponteland, a few miles north of Newcastle and barely a mile from the headquarters of Northumbria police.
The estate has some 2,500 residents - including the former Chief Constable of Northumbria, Sir Stanley Bailey - and houses are valued from pounds 300,000 to pounds 750,000. The area has recently been the target of thieves who have broken into properties and stolen vehicles.
Many residents feel that the only way to combat the upsurge in crime is to make it far more difficult for criminals to enter the estate. They also believe that other estates around the country will install similar systems, and they make the point that many developers are now building such estates with high walls, gated entrances and security cameras.
Michael Dainty, chairman of Darras Hall's four-man security committee, believes that there is a need for such measures. 'We don't want to lock ourselves away completely but it could be an effective way of tightening security,' he said. 'It is usually seen as an executive estate but there are many retired people living here who have the same fears as elderly residents anywhere else.'
He said that the estate's hedges, long drives and large gardens provided places for criminals to hide.
Finance for the scheme would be raised by selling land owned by the residents to a private developer with the intention of building retirement homes.
Not everyone, however, is in favour. Sir Stanley believes fencing in the houses would be like constructing a 'private prison'. He said: 'If it was secured off completely I would not want to live here . . . that to me would not be living.'
If the majority of people are in favour of the plan, an application will go before the local planning committee in the new year.
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Cover Supervisor...
£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Tutoring in Cheshire West &...