City cautious about more CCTV

CITY of Perth chief executive Gary Stevenson says the council aims to strike a balance between installing CCTV cameras and taking a ‘big brother’ approach.

After the State Government announced a $5 million funding pool to enable councils to install CCTV, Mr Stevenson said the City would consider applying for funding and analyse any provisions associated with the grants.

The application process requires officers-in-charge at local police stations to endorse camera installations in “offence against the person hot spots” within council boundaries and for councils to agree to list cameras on a State Government register.

“The City has to ensure its strategy for the use of CCTV as a monitoring and reporting tool aligns with requirements of the State Government’s CCTV Strategy,” Mr Stevenson said.

“The right approach towards the use of CCTV ensures the safety of citizens and tourists and helps to capture instances of property damage or other anti-social behaviour.”

Mr Stevenson said additional cameras would be installed at major projects such as Elizabeth Quay, Perth City Link or the Perth Library.

Perth Police Centre Senior Sergeant Brendan Moore said Perth city was a unique situation because the City had already invested heavily in CCTV coverage, with licensed premises and businesses installing their own cameras.

“From a Perth police perspective, we would support funding for the City of Perth to install CCTV, but in terms of hotspot coverage for “offences against the person”, the City already has significant CCTV networks,” Sgt Moore said.

“The CBD is far and away the most substantially covered area in the State.”

Sgt Moore said James Street, the Murray Street nightclub strip and Perth Cultural Centre were central hotspots.

Perth City Council spent almost $176,000 on maintaining and replacing 231 CCTV cameras last financial year.