Follow up on CCTV community forum

Last night I attended what I thought was to be an information session, my error, it was an information seeking session put on by council, asking the community what they wanted. It was interesting listening to the comments and questions and I posed a few myself… mine were more questions than comments as I stated, I support CCTV I just can’t see how our council can justify the additional expense or support the proposed cost shifting from the State Govt.

That aside: there were approx 50 people in the room, including all the liberal councillors and Clr Harle, a number of business people, some of our Police and concerned residents. I was there as a resident, interested/engaged citizen and business owner.  Overwhelmingly people seem to feel more secure with CCTV however how unsafe do we really feel in our city? I’ve discussed this before and I have to admit to never feeling unsafe in Liverpool, no more safe/ unsafe than anywhere else, and I am a little concerned that CCTV creates a false sense of security, leaving people to not take sufficient precautions or care, but for the most part, I feel safe to walk around our city. As I mentioned in my list last night, lighting has an enormous part to play in the belief of safety and we need to address this and quickly. One prominent business person came up and asked me in my role as community representative could I speak with council about the lighting that has been out in the southern end of Macquarie street for over 5 months now…sadly all those committees are defunct at present however I will raise this with council through other avenues until I (hopefully) get back onto some of the committees.

My other concern is the enormous cost of maintaining a reasonable CCTV program, proper 24hrs surveillance can cost anywhere from $500,000pa UP, when you know the amount of infrastructure in need of repair etc does this work out as a best option spend annually when you consider it will only protect the CBD and 16 camera’s (the proposed number) doesn’t seem like a lot. Superintendant Ray King raised an important issue I’d not considered and that being the public liability to council should we not have sufficient coverage if someone was of the belief they were being protected… albeit he said no one had ever claimed at Cabramatta however we are fast becoming a hugely litigious society and that would be an expensive exercise.

As you can see there are many questions to be asked and lots of information still to be provided and I encourage you to keep an eye out, ask questions and add your comments. Council will be seeking expressions of interest from providers and community input so voice your concerns. I would like them to investigate a program similar to the Facade program I’ve mentioned previously one where the business installs quality equipment that can be subsidised by council once certain criteria is met.

More to do I guess but the Mayor believes this will be up and running by end of financial year 2013.. So be diligent… comment and get involved. After all it just might be your rates dollars at work so you should get involved.

More when I hear more…

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