CCTV on public transport – is it necessary?

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Public use of CCTV has been a highly controversial topic in recent years, with mixed emotions about their purpose, effectiveness and the fear of ‘Big Brother’ watching your every move.  However, there seems to be a growing number of circumstances where CCTV has proven to be for the benefit of ordinary individuals as well as the public at large. Take the recent reports on the brutish manner in which a 62 year-old man was man-handled off a train and then held face-down on the floor for 9 minutes.  This unpleasant incident was caught on CCTV last year, and without it perhaps the Authorised Officers responsible would have gotten away scot-free. Worrying Trend? Worryingly, this is not the first incident of its kind, nor is it a rarity.  The Age reported that around 10 million so called “contacts” occur every year between Authorised Officers and the general public.  All of this begs the question: do the public need CCTV on public transport in order to feel safe? Why CCTV SHOULD be installed There may very well be a valid argument that says – yes.  Not only would CCTV on public transport help keep members of the public safe from acts of excessive force, muggings or other violent crime; but it would also surely have a positive impact on vandalism, anti-social behaviour, and the harassment and abuse of staff. Of course, CCTV’s main benefit is as a deterrent – if people know they are being watched – they’re less likely to behave badly.  However, sometimes acting as a deterrent isn’t enough, and if things get out of hand, it’s good to...

Yes, People Can Stalk You Using Your Own Smartphone!

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Today the smart phone, thanks to the innovation taking place in this division, is not only restricted for voice services. Smart phones can perform complex activities like online transactions and other commercial applications. Due to the fact that smart phones carry a significant amount of sensitive information in them, users should take extra measures to protect their smart phones from possible misuse such as identity theft or stalking. Most smart phones today, especially iOS and Android platforms contain everything a stalker needs to keep a track of you. One of the primary ways potential stalkers can track you via your smart phone is via social engineering, which is obviously not rocket science. It is very likely you will give away your personal information or access to your smart phone to someone you trust. And if that person so desired, he or she can easily track where you are and what you’re doing. Another way stalkers gain access to your smart phone is by stealing its information. They install tracking software or malware which is then used to download your address book, or even track your location on a map. Who steals your data? Cyber criminals steal your financial information for your money, and your personal information to harass or even stalk you. They can snoop via public Wi-Fi networks when you connect to them at Cafes or airports. Another popular way of snooping is GeoTagging, where smart devices use its built-in GPS capability to show the exact location from where you took the photos. Advertisers make use of installed “apps” on your smart phone to collect your personal info....

Australia’s Most Dangerous State in 2012 Revealed

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You’ve probably heard about the most dangerous or unfit cities in the world. But do you know which state, territory, or city in the Land Down Under has the highest crime rates? It’s hard to think of Australia this way as it’s known to be one of the most orderly, secure, and peaceful countries in the world. It’s not a place known for violence, although there’s the occasional sensational murder case taking over local headlines. But even so, you would agree when we say this is not a common occurrence. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), there has been a “continuing decrease in crime levels around Australia.” This affirms the state of peace and order in the country, reflecting the efficiency with which governing laws and policies are being implemented. Despite this, the fact remains that crime DOES happen. And you would not want it to happen to YOU. If you’re planning to open a business, start a commercial venture, or move to some other part of the country, consulting this list will help you make better entrepreneurial and personal decisions, as well as boost your chances of avoiding security risks in the process. The Statistics Out of 6 states and 2 territories, New South Wales (NSW) has recorded the most number of homicide victims: 119. When you compare this with bigger states, such as Western Australia (53) and Queensland (104), this appears to be quite an eyebrow-raising figure. However, this could be attributed to some incidents not reported to authorities in some areas due to certain factors. The Australian Capital Territory logged the least number of...

Councils Need to Ensure the Safety of Their Citizens

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In a previous post, we discussed how the Melbourne City and Moreland Councils moved to accept a $250,000 CCTV funding grant the Australian government offered in a move to improve public safety. Recently, The Herald Sun reported that one Melbourne Council “continues to reject offers of cash to install CCTV cameras in trouble spots, despite pleas from the state’s top policeman and residents embracing this “big brother” approach. It appears that there still is resistance by some members of the community towards the Government’s initiative to boost surveillance in various cities around the country. The Glen Eira council is one of those against the installation of CCTV cameras. Just last week, the councilors of the City of Glen Eira cast their votes for the rejection of a $125,000 grant offered by the government 2 years earlier. The proposed funding was meant to be used towards the installation of 14 CCTV cameras. This decision came amidst favorable reception by residents towards the prospect of having more security surveillance cameras in their area. Edward O’Donohue, Crime Prevention Minister, said that the anti-camera stance of the councils was baffling. He commented: “The Coalition Government believes CCTV is not only a vital tool in solving crime but in deterring crime too. Given the support from police and the community, it is totally incomprehensible that councils would refuse to take money offered by the Government to install CCTV in their communities.” Meanwhile, the City of Kingston has decided “to accept the funding after surveys undertaken for the council and the State Government showed strong community support.” According to the Kingston survey, 8 out of...

CCTV Camera Captures Image of Man near Scene of Sexual Assault

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Once again, security surveillance cameras have played a part in strengthening evidence in an alleged rape incident, as well as with helping the police apprehend the perpetrator. Early this month, news broke of a sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman by a man who, as reported by The Australian, was“of Middle Eastern appearance, 175cm tall, with olive skin, unshaven and with short, dark cropped hair. He was wearing jeans and a distinctive zip-up black leather jacket.” “This woman did not know this man.. She refused his advances on a number of occasions as they were walking … it’s just an abhorrent crime,” said Sexual Crime Squad Detective Inspector Paul Binyon. He also said that the most “disturbing” aspect of the case was that the victim was a new mother, having just given birth two months ago. The assault occurred on the night she was out with friends celebrating the birth of her baby. Detective Inspector Binyon said that the CCTV footage of a man near the site of the assault is one of a “person of interest we would strongly like to identify.” The man was caught on a CCTV camera installed outside the Witches and Britches theatre restaurant in West Melbourne. He was recorded walking ahead of the woman at about 3:05 am on Sunday 30th June 30. According to The Australian, detectives investigating the case believe that the man may have approached her “200 metres further north, near the intersection of Victoria and William streets, West Melbourne.” The latest update on the case reported that a 28-year-old man has been arrested, questioned, and released with regards to...