CCTV at hotspots to help fight crime

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

There will be more eyes on the streets of Albany than ever before when the rollout of 20 additional CCTV cameras to help curb crime is completed by the end of the year.

Installation of the cameras at recognised crime hotspots has already begun and will take the total number of cameras in the city to 38.

The 13 existing cameras were upgraded from analogue to digital and an additional five new cameras have already been installed after the City of Albany received more than $30,000 in funding from the State Government’s WA CCTV Infrastructure Fund last year.

The 20 new cameras, which will be monitored by Albany police, were funded by the Federal Government’s Safer Streets program with the City receiving $99,000 last year.

The City confirmed last week the planned expanded security network was already in progress with cameras placed in suburbs and public places where crimes against people such as assaults and robberies had occurred in the past.

Albany police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Grant Pollard said the cameras would enhance the prospects of police not only deterring crime but also assist in identifying offenders.

He said CCTV could be used with social media and traditional media to help identify perpetrators and lead to their arrest.

“Our biggest aim is to deter criminals from committing crimes and if that is not having an effect then the CCTV gives us an investigative tool,” he said.

“It’s a tool we use to keep the people of Albany safe.

“It’s about providing as much protection to populous as we can.”

Sen. Sgt Pollard also urged businesses to invest in enhanced security measures such as CCTV and improved lighting in carparks because cameras could not be installed on private property.

CCTV cameras have been on York Street and Stirling Terrace for several years and have captured violent and antisocial incidents, leading to convictions.

The original 13-camera network under ownership by the Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry was upgraded when it was transferred to the City.

City of Albany chief executive officer Andrew Sharpe said the City had additionally funded a system upgrade worth about $80,000 at several City sites to protect the public and City employees.

“The City is very grateful for the funding assistance of the State and Federal Government to extend and upgrade the public CCTV network in Albany,” he said.

“These cameras are an essential tool in helping police monitor trouble spots, identify offenders and solve crimes, and they make our public spaces and facilities much safer for everyone.”

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