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 10 residents said they would feel safer in their area if there were CCTVs where they are.

Certainly, the Jill Meagher case, as well as others where offenders were caught with the help of camera footage, helped spur this increased interest in the installation of surveillance devices.

It can be recalled that, in the aftermath of the case, there were calls to add more CCTVs around the city, especially those that the police have already identified as risk areas. However, members of various Councils are not in agreement with this matter.

The resistance of some Councils to these calls seem to make it appear that community leaders are not giving as much importance to public safety as expected. According to The Daily Telegraph, “the safety of citizens must come first”.

This does not mean that surveillance cameras are the only solution – it is also necessary to enforce existing laws and see to it that wrongdoers are promptly and justifiably apprehended.

Retuning the focus to the Meagher case, the accused has been sentenced in a Melbourne court last month. During the trial, it has revealed that Adrian Ernest Bayley, Jill Meagher’s killer, was out on parole when the attack occurred.

Not only that, it emerged that Bayley had kept violating parole conditions for many years and has been found guilty of 20 counts of assault and rape. Despite this, he was still deemed fit for release. Bayley is not the only parole-violating individual walking about freely in our communities.

This is cause for concern as this situation compromises peace-keeping efforts and puts many citizens at risk. This should encourage members of the community to step forward and make calls for the parole board to re-evaluate the way they assess accused offenders.

For the time being, it’s advisable to install CCTV cameras in your own home as a precautionary measure against intruders. To receive further information about enhancing residential security, call Eversafe Australia on (03) 900 10 900. You can also email us at info@www.eversafe.com.au or submit a query on the Eversafe website.