Security cameras get green light

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A small security-conscious working group has been given the bricks and mortar to get their project up and running.

Funding has been approved to enable construction of a Closed Circuit TV network and the purchase of one camera for use within the Oamaru township in order to reduce crime and keep the comunity safe. Further cameras will be sourced through fundraising and sponsorship.

The secure, wireless network will have the capacity to stream 16 security cameras.

Waitaki District Council committed $20,000 to the project at Wednesday’s meeting.

Waitaki District Council community safety & development facilitator, Helen Algar, was approached last year by members of the community interested in installing CCTV to prevent and resolve crime.

“CCTV was investigated approximately six years ago, but due to high costs, the idea was mothballed,” says Mrs Algar.

“Today the technology is more affordable and with council support, we are ready to start the project.

“This will be very much a community project, for the community by the community, with council providing the first component of what will be a staged development.”

Detective Warren Duncan, Oamaru, who is part of the working group, said they had identified public sites to mount cameras and ideally would have extra sites so cameras could be moved as required.

The first camera mounted will be placed near the intersection of Severn and Thames streets.

Detective Duncan gave assurances that the monitors would be stored in a secure area in the police station and footage only viewed during peak times, like Friday and Saturday nights, to capture valuable evidence.

“People viewing the footage will be vetted,” he said.

Research compiled from Timaru found the use of security cameras saved $200,000 through a combination of potential crimes not being committed and reparation paid through successful prosecutions.

By LINDA MCCARTHY