Push for more cameras

CCTV cameras planned for Kiama will be expanded to include a larger area of the CBD under plans to be considered at the February Kiama Council meeting.

Last Tuesday, a special meeting of Kiama Council’s Community Safety Committee unanimously approved a revised plan for the CCTV network, which is planned to start in May.

There is a $150,000 federal government election commitment to fund the network, along with $50,000 from the state government and $80,000 from the council.

The original plan included cameras only along Terralong Street from Collins Street to Railway Parade.

Committee chairman Dennis Seage said an independent consultant had recommended a four-stage project.

He said the first stage comprised the placement of cameras covering Terralong Street from just west of Collins Street to the Commonwealth Bank on the corner of Manning Street; Manning Street to Bong Bong Street, Bong Bong Street to Railway Parade and Railway Parade back to Terralong Street.

‘‘If the council approves the recommendation, this will go a lot further than it was going to,’’ he said. ‘‘We decided to bite the bullet and go all the way.

‘‘I think all the recent publicity about alcohol-fuelled violence probably made a few people sit back and look at it a bit more seriously.

‘‘If there’s going to be an incident in Kiama, that [the block now earmarked for cameras] is where it’s going to be.’’

Mr Seage said the council would consider the recommendation at its February 4 meeting.

If approved, the plan will go on public display for 28 days.

If adopted, the council will then put the network out for tender.

Mr Seage said once the first stage was costed, the committee would identify how to roll out the next three stages.

Jason Harrison, one of three Lake Illawarra Local Area Command representatives on the committee, said police supported the proposal in principle.

‘‘They are all positive measures,’’ Sergeant Harrison said.

‘‘From a crime prevention and investigation perspective it’s a positive – as long as it’s implemented correctly and there are no short cuts taken.

‘‘The system that is used must comply with our standards. It must be a quality system capable of identifying alleged offenders to an evidentiary quality. It must be capable of being used in a court of law for prosecution.’’

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