Councils Need to Ensure the Safety of Their Citizens

TAGS: , , ,
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

TAGS: , , , , ,
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...

Melbourne City and Moreland Councils Accept $250,000 CCTV Funding offered by the State Government

TAGS: , , ,
In April this year The Age reported that, the State Government offered Melbourne City Council a $250,000 grant for installing CCTV cameras in “6 black spots’’,”. The State Government also offered the same sum for the installation of CCTV cameras to Moreland Council, the municipality where Jill Meagher was murdered. Initially Melbourne City Council was hesitant to accept the $250,000 funding. This is because, as Cr Richard Foster pointed out, there is allegedly no evidence that extra surveillance would enhance public safety. He also mentioned the need to maintain the devices, which would be an additional expense for the council. Conversely Council Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has been very supportive about the proposed installation of new CCTV cameras. The Herald Sun quoted him with the following statement: “If (Victoria) Police have said, ‘put CCTV cameras there’, then in my view, let’s do it.” Other councilors have expressed their opinions on the matter, with some raising a motion to make a more in-depth assessment on the prospect of adding additional security surveillance cameras in the city. There were questions on how the police have identified the hot spots and the links between video monitoring and the incidence of crime. Councilor Cathy Oke said that while she is definitely “not opposed to” security cameras, she believes that they are not the only preventive measure available. She went onto state that “there needs to be more research done into analyzing how to improve safety through other alternatives, such as lighting, before considering the installation of CCTV systems”. However, at Moreland Council, there was little resistance to the CCTV funding offer with the...