A CRACKDOWN on crime with more CCTV cameras and lighting installations in central areas of Midland and Kalamunda is good news for businesses in the fight against lawbreakers and anti-social behaviour.
Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt said the Federal Government’s $1 million funding would help keep communities and streets safer in his electorate and deliver on a 2016 election promise.
The Safe Communities Fund program delivers $847,017 to the City of Swan for CCTV and lighting upgrades in the Midland CBD, Beechboro and Lockridge and a $170,000 grant to Kalamunda Shire for 12 CCTV cameras at four crime hot spots.
There will be six new cameras along the Midland stretch of Great Eastern Highway and four in Spring Park Road, the location of Midland police and Midland Magistrates Court. Cameras linked to the WA Police CCTV network provide criminal evidence and enable police to prevent incidents from escalating.
“I know crime and anti-social behaviour has been a big issue for those living and running businesses in Hasluck, which is why I’m so pleased that this funding has been secured for our community,” Mr Wyatt said.
Small local businesses have called for more support against crime and anti-social behaviour for some time.
Midland gun storeowner Graeme Harris welcomed more CCTV but said shoplifting and criminal damage was “killing” shopping strips along Great Eastern Highway.
“We have our own CCTV inside and outside, and it’s great they (City of Swan) are putting in more, but where are the cameras going?,” he said.
The (shopping) strip is where it all happens and I’m 100 per cent in favour of more cameras but they need to be strategically placed.”
Mr Harris has spent half a lifetime investing in crime prevention at his Midland businesses.
“We’ve increased our security so they can’t break in but when they can’t raid a shop, they get mad and throw a brick through a window,” he said.
“I would say about 50 windows would be broken in any one week across central Midland.
“It doesn’t matter what we do with security, they will find another way and the biggest benefit we have is CCTV.”
He said one of his employees was ‘one-punch’ hit two weeks ago when he asked a man to hand back a bow and arrow as he made to leave the store.
“The chap turned around and king-hit my employee. The man had come in with his ‘wife and kids’ as a decoy and he’d parked his car around the corner,” he said.
The shop worker, who asked not to be named, was back at work this week but will have to attend more medical appointments.
Mr Harris said vandals last week caused about $60,000 damage when they jumped on bonnets and smashed windows in caryards near his gun shop.
In another incident, a thief wrote off a car stolen from the rear of a business block in Old Great Northern Highway.
Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright welcomed the CCTV funding.
“Not only will it expand the City of Swan’s CCTV network, it will help to improve community safety, increase police access to City CCTV footage and enhance the image quality of the cameras across the City,” he said.
WHERE THE CAMERAS WILL GO IN THE CITY OF SWAN
Security cameras will be installed along Spring Park Road and Great Eastern Highway across the Midland CBD, at the Altone Park Leisure Centre, Beechboro, and the Alice Daveron Centre in Lockridge.
Locations chosen as they are key retail, entertainment and recreation precincts and can be affected by anti-social behaviour.
The Federal Government grant will also allow for upgraded lighting throughout the Midland CBD, which has been identified as a priority by the City. This will improve safety in the area after dark and increases the quality of the CCTV camera’s night vision.
The funding will also go towards CCTV infrastructure and the installation of a 1.7km optic fibre link between the City CCTV Control Room and the State Police Operations Centre in Midland which will allow police to access more than 250 cameras across the City of Swan.