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Byron eyes CCTV to cut crime

A heavy police presence helped to improve behaviour last year.
A heavy police presence helped to improve behaviour last year. Jay Cronan

A CRIME report on Byron Bay has reinforced the need for a CCTV system in the CBD, with the town's rate of drunken assaults well above the state average.

But cameras may be a while off yet with no funding currently available to Byron Shire Council.

Last November, The Northern Star reported on Tweed Byron Local Area Command (LAC) police and Byron Shire Council working to tackle alcohol-related assaults in the Byron CBD.

Police put forward CCTV as a solution.

Last month, council released their draft Safer Community Compact strategy for 2012-2016.

It showed that Byron Shire ranked 11th in NSW for non-domestic related assaults in 2010.

Forty-seven per cent of assaults happened in a public place, with males between 20 and 29 years old making up 34% of the victims.

The strategy included findings that most of the alcohol-related assaults occurred in the early hours of weekend mornings around the taxi rank and licensed premises.

In an action plan outlined in the safer community compact, estab- lishing a CCTV system was a target.

While funding is not available now, Byron council's manager of sustainable communities Greg Ironfield said council would apply for funding once the draft stra-tegy was approved.

"If approved by council, the draft plan will go out on public exhibition for community comment," he said.

"When all community submissions are reviewed and the plan finalised, it will be reported to council.

"If council then decides to proceed with the Safer Community Compact it will be sent to the Attorney-General's office.

"Following approval, council can then start to apply for funding."

Council have pinpointed 12 possible locations for cameras, including the Transit Centre, which has been highlighted as a theft hot spot.

At the moment, 17 businesses in Byron have registered CCTV systems but only one has an external camera.

Topics:  assault, byron shire council, cctv, community, crime, police


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