CCTV plan a ‘game changer’ for emergency services

CCTV plan a ‘game changer’ for emergency services

THE State Government’s draft State CCTV Strategy pioneers an integrated CCTV network, which will allow emergency services to remotely access any compliant camera systems to help respond to emergency situations.

The strategy was released earlier this year and provided the blueprint for how the State Government, local government and private sector could join together to achieve an effective use of integrated technology.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said a more integrated camera network could be a potential game changer in preventing and prosecuting crime and anti-social behaviour.

“This will work on several levels: police can assess crime jobs almost immediately, use vision to prosecute offenders and deter criminal behaviour,” she said.

The Government has now opened a $5 million funding pool for local governments to apply to either install CCTV cameras in crime hotspots or upgrade existing infrastructure so it can feed into the network.

While the Town of Victoria Park said it would prefer to focus on other aspects, such as lighting, to make areas safer, the cities of Belmont and South Perth said they would consider applying for the funding.

City of Belmont chief executive Stuart Cole said Belmont had a program of upgrading existing systems and installation of systems at new locations.

“The City always explores funding opportunities and will assess its current and future programs to determine if additional funding will assist,” he said.

The City has CCTV systems at many district shopping centre locations, as well as in community hubs such as community centres and public areas, including the Wright Street bus stop.

City of South Perth Mayor Sue Doherty said the City was implementing its Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan and had CCTV installed at the George Burnett Leisure Centre and The Gowrie WA in Karawara.

Town of Victoria Park chief executive said the Town would be taking a different approach.

“Research suggests public open space CCTV systems have a minimal impact on crime and anti-social behaviour,” he said.

“The Town would prefer, and will continue to focus on, other aspects of environmental design such as lighting to make areas safer, as well as fostering a vibrant and connected community through programs like the Street Meet and Greet to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.”

The Town has CCTV at some of its facilities and at the public open space overlooking the McCallum Park Skatebowl.