Audit calls for more and better CCTV cameras

IF raw numbers were anything to go by, a drop in requests for CCTV footage over the two years they have been running could signal their success in helping reduce crime in Nowra’s CBD.

In 2001 Shoalhaven City Council received 25 requests for footage.

In 2012, 16 requests were received.

In an audit of the 18 cameras submitted to council in September 2012 police claimed the cameras had contributed to an improvement in the behaviour of people in the CBD.

Anecdotal evidence from the police provided for quarterly reports, showed they believed the cameras were an effective tool in identifying alleged offenders.

Nowra Police reported that the CCTV cameras had been of assistance in various investigations.

They said they were useful in establishing the identity of an offender, however pointed out they were regarded as one of many tools to assist police in dealing with crime.

Since the cameras were installed in the CBD, there have been requests by police for an expansion of the system.

Police have requested cameras be installed at Morisons Arcade, the corner of Berry and Junction streets and the old bus terminal in Schofield Lane.

It hasn’t all been good news however. Technical problems with the system meant there had been periods when the system had malfunctioned.

Problems arose about the need to adjust focus and camera angle of view on some cameras.

Cabling had to be replaced after being damaged by birds and a server needed to be upgraded to prevent it from crashing.

The audit said the cameras represented ageing technology and should be upgraded to cameras that could offer higher quality resolution.

However if cameras were replaced, software would also need to be upgraded.

Following the audit a number of recommendations were made relating to the cameras and associated hardware.

Recommendations included that police and council review the location, number and quality of cameras in the Nowra CBD.

It was also recommended that council seek funds to install more cameras in the CBD to ensure there were no black spots.

EYE SPY: Live vision from the Nowra CCTV cameras can be monitored by officers at Nowra Police Station.

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