THE battle against crime and anti-social behaviour in the Tamworth CBD has escalated.
Yesterday, Tamworth Regional Council announced the installation of eight new CCTV cameras in the heart of the city, part of a $150,000 upgrade of the existing network.
It will mean the number of cameras in the CBD will double and their technical capabilities will be improved.
Council’s Crime Prevention Working Group worked with local police to determine camera locations, based on anti-social and criminal behaviour hotspots.
The new cameras have been installed at the intersection of Peel and White streets, near the Northern Inland Credit Union building facing the City Plaza corner; on The Northern Daily Leader building, with one camera facing Brisbane St and one facing Marius St; Peel St near the intersection with Darling St, on the NSW Cancer Council shopfront facing Peel St; the Tamworth Olympic Pool building facing Kable Ave and Brisbane St; Peel St at the intersection with Brisbane St, on the Adairs shopfront, with one camera facing toward the Brisbane St taxi rank and the other facing the Central Hotel corner; and the PCYC in Peel St facing the Tamworth Skate Park.
Deputy mayor and Crime Prevention Working Group chairman Russell Webb said the first CCTVs were installed in the CBD in 2010.
“They have been credited as being such a success in reducing alcohol-related malicious damage, it was decided to seek funding to add more,” Cr Webb said.
“CCTV is an essential tool in the fight against anti-social behaviour and crime in today’s communities.
“Our cameras are connected to a central location in council’s Ray Walsh House offices by a fibre-and-wireless network, with pictures transmitted live to observation screens in the communications room at Ray Walsh House and the Tamworth Police Station.”
All images recorded by the cameras are kept for a month, unless they are required for police investigations or court proceedings.
“The showing of recorded material to the public will be allowed only in accordance with the needs of the council and police in connection with the investigation of a crime, or in any other circumstances provided by law,” he said.
“Any such action must be formally approved by the police.”
Cr Webb said recorded material may also be used by the media from time to time, to gain public information.
He said the cameras would not be used to look into adjacent or nearby premises or buildings, unless it was explicitly for the purpose of following participants in a crime.
Signage warning members of the public about the operation of the cameras has also been installed.
The system operates under a code of practice, which sets out how members of the public can make a complaint if they believe the CCTV system has not been used correctly or their privacy has been invaded.