Tamworth Regional Council considers doubling its crime prevention budget

DOUBLE DOWN: Councillors will consider doubling the local crime prevention budget. Photo: Gareth Gardner
DOUBLE DOWN: Councillors will consider doubling the local crime prevention budget. Photo: Gareth Gardner

TAMWORTH Regional Council (TRC) will consider doubling its crime prevention budget at its meeting on Tuesday night.

There has been a “significant increase” to the demand for more CCTV surveillance in the community, according to a report to be considered by council, as the crime prevention working group calls for more funding to help keep the streets safe.

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It’s not just about quelling crime rates. Working group chair, Russell Webb, says councils are being expected to play bigger roles addressing global issues.

“Crime prevention is becoming more of an issue for local government,” Cr Webb told The Leader. “Local governments have been identified in the new federal strategy for more global issues.”

Councils were highlighted as a key player in the Australian government’s strategy for “protecting crowded places from terrorism” which was released earlier this year.

“Local governments also play an important role in designing and approving public spaces,” the strategy said.

The wider benefits have been seen with police and council being able to identify offenders.

Councillor Russell Webb

“Including a unique opportunity to consider and creatively apply protective security during the early stages of crowded place design.”

TRC will also vote on officially implementing the region’s five-year crime prevention plan.

The report asked council to double the budget for the implementation of the plan from $10,000 up to $20,000.

“By putting more money into the system,” Cr Webb said.

“We’ll be in a better position to apply for federal funding, because it shows we’re an organisation that puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to crime.”

Cr Webb said the increased desire for CCTV was a result of alleged culprits being identified from video surveillance in the community.

“The wider benefits have been seen with police and council being able to identify offenders,” he said. “That message has meant there’s a lot more interest coming from areas that currently aren’t being serviced.”