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2 July, 2022

Council to push State on CCTV control

FUNDING for the installation and monitoring of CCTV systems should be provided to the Queensland Police Service and not be a burden on local councils, says Mareeba Shire Council.

By Robyn Holmes

Council to push State on CCTV control

The council will put a motion reflecting that view to the Local Government Association of Queensland annual conference in October in the hope that the other 76 councils throughout the State will support the move. 

“Policing is a State Government responsibility and is something that Local Government has no powers or jurisdiction over,” Mayor Angela Toppin said. 

“However there have been repeated calls from the QPS in towns and cities for councils to install, upgrade, operate and maintain CCTV systems to assist the QPS in their policing functions. 

“While the State has, on occasion, provided grants to enable councils to install this equipment, this only covers the initial capital cost and not the ongoing maintenance and operational cost, which is significantly higher than the original outlay. 

“Some councils, especially the larger ones, have been forced into undertaking this function, at their community’s expense.” 

A report to council noted that with the increase in crime and anti-social behaviour across communities in the State, there had been calls for either more CCTV or the installation of systems where there have not been before. 

“The QPS officers assure council staff that access to CCTV systems is essential for them to effectively police the communities and is required to both prevent crime and to be able to apprehend perpetrators,” the report stated. 

“If CCTV is such an important tool for the QPS to perform their role, then surely the State should provide them with the necessary tools to do so and not rely on local councils. 

“Councils do not provide QPS with motor vehicles, weapons, administrative support or even speed cameras, these are provided by the State and so should high quality CCTV systems.” 

There have been numerous calls for CCTV to be installed in Mareeba’s CBD to assist police in curbing the constant vandalism to shop windows and break-ins to businesses. 

While council agrees CCTV is an effective tool in deterring crime and capturing evidence to support police investigations, it does not believe ratepayers should be footing the bill to install systems and maintain and monitor them. 

However, council is currently offering businesses up to $5000 to install their own systems in lieu of a CBD wide network. Recently, Mareeba gym, HIIT 40, took advantage of the offer, recently installing a new security camera and lighting system at its Byrnes Street premises. 

The system allows for live monitoring by the Mareeba Police Station. 

Gym owner and trainer Cameron Lewis installed the system to increase community safety around the gym. 

“The new system aims to reduce incidents such as break and enter, vandalism and graffiti around the gym,” he said. 

“By installing the CCTV, I can keep on focussing on what I enjoy most, to keep the Mareeba community healthy.”

Mayor Angela Toppin said the funds were provided to HIIT 40 under the Mareeba Community Safety Enhancement Program. 

“Working closely with the Mareeba Police Service and Mareeba Chamber of Commerce, priority locations were identified under the program,” she said. 

“Council has been engaging with business operators in the identified locations since the commencement of the program in 2018 and a number of businesses have received council support for expanding existing CCTV or lighting, or installing of new systems. 

“The aim is to create a network of CCTVs and public lighting in public hotspots to capture on video antisocial and criminal activities to help with police prosecutions and ultimately to deter this type of behaviour and enhance public safety.”

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