Security cameras well-received

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The announcement on Friday that security cameras are soon to be placed around Oamaru has created plenty of discussion.

Funding of $20,000 was approved at a meeting of the Waitaki District Council last week which has enabled the working group to start constructing a wireless network. One camera will be purchased, with others to follow as funding permits.

Retailers spoken to yesterday said it was a positive move and that it was a long- awaited solution to some of the crime occurring on the street.

John and Suzanne Mather, Mathers’ Jewellery & Time Limited, said that criminals might think twice about breaking alcohol bylaws.

Some retailers have been hit hard by crime with breakages, windows smashed, and people urinating and vomiting outside their shops.

Belinda Spivey, of Spivey Real Estate, said something needed to happen.

“If it can stop them, then it’s a positive thing,” she said.

Mrs Spivey said retailers shouldn’t have to clean up human waste and she was hopeful that if camera sites were known, it would act as a deterrent to this behaviour, as well as smashing doors and windows.

She was slightly sceptical whether anything could change the behaviour of youths who were under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Mike Lucey, owner of North Otago Dispensary, said they hadn’t had too much trouble with crime and said it was probably public knowledge that chemists had good security in place.

The first camera, which will be erected near the Severn and Thames St intersection, could be operating within two months. When the other 15 cameras become operational will depend on community sponsorship and support.

Bill Dean, of Dean and Associates, said his business had already offered to assist in buying a camera.

Mr Dean spoke out in favour of security cameras last year after youths broke into a shed down near the harbour and stole tools. He said he thought at the time that it would be good to have cameras there.

By LINDA MCCARTHY