Automatic number plate recognition considered for Fremantle’s main streets with CCTV expansion

Fremantle’s cafe strip.
Fremantle’s cafe strip.

EXCLUSIVE

THE City of Fremantle will consider using automatic number plate recognition on all main roads leading into the CBD as part of its CCTV network expansion.

The City allocated $743,000 in the 2018/19 budget to improve coverage in Fremantle after receiving a Federal Government Safer Communities Grant of $928,336.

The CCTV system is controlled by the City of Fremantle and footage is only released to the police for the purpose of investigation or prosecution.

It can also be released to lawyers and members of the public for the purpose of defending themselves in court.

Community safety team leader Chris Scanlan said the upgrade was expected to be completed by November 2019.

“The exact number and locations of the new cameras will be determined as part of the tender process,” he said.

“Consideration is also being given to the use of automatic number plate recognition to cover all the main roads into the Fremantle CBD: Marine Terrace, South Terrace, Queen Victoria Street, High Street, Market Street and Beach Street.”

Mr Scanlan said similar technology was used around the world and in other Australian states, using infrared cameras to read number plates.

The system scans all vehicles and identifies unregistered and stolen vehicles, as well as disqualified or suspended drivers and other “persons of interest” such as those with outstanding warrants.

The City began its CCTV operation in 2008 with 36 cameras covering the cappuccino strip, Esplanade Reserve, Kings Square and the High Street Mall.

Mr Scanlan said other crime prevention strategies have been applied through environment design.

“The lighting was recently upgraded in Princess May Park,” he said.

“A further $15,000 has been allocated in the budget for lighting improvements.”

Mr Scanlan said the City developed its CCTV strategy in conjunction with Fremantle police.

“The focus for the strategy was the placement of CCTV covering all critical infrastructure, crowded places and locations identified by police intelligence within the Fremantle CBD,” he said.

“Monument Hill was not a consideration when the CCTV Strategy was created in November 2017, however this may be reconsidered.”