Harry Briguglio and Sylvia McDonald from Summerland Security patrol walk past a CCTV sign in Molesworth Street, Lismore.
Harry Briguglio and Sylvia McDonald from Summerland Security patrol walk past a CCTV sign in Molesworth Street, Lismore.

OH BROTHER!

By JANE GARDNER

BIG BROTHER may be watching, but can he stop you from being attacked?

Police say yes, but an Australian first study has found CCTV cameras do not faze criminals.

Inspector Dave Larkin, of the Lismore Police argues the footage filmed in Lismore and Nimbin has reduced crime.

"We access the footage on most weekends and in the 15 years CCTV has been around, it has led to a number of arrests and convictions," he said.

That evidence, however, is anecdotal, as police do not keep records of how many arrests are due to CCTV surveillance.

Tweed/Byron Local Area Command Superintendent Michael Kenny is pushing for Byron Shire Council to install CCTV cameras in the heart of the Byron Bay CBD.

"If people are aware they are under surveilance, it will curtail anti-social and loutish behaviour. They won't do it if there is a chance they will get caught," he said.

"From a policing point of view installing CCTV in the CBD of Byron Bay is a nobrainer.

"It may not stop all incidents from happening, but in the case of serious assaults, we can gain evidence that might lead to a conviction."

Lismore City Council believe CCTV is so effective, they plan to place five more cameras in the city's laneways precinct.

Bill MacDonald, council's Traffic and Emergency Services coordinator, said so far the surveillance in Lismore had picked up more than 2000 incidents.

"The police love it and it saves them time and resources," he said.

Meanwhile, Ballina Shire Council mayor Phillip Silver said private funded CCTV was sufficient.

He said footage captured by private businesses was often accessed by police and council didn't need to install cameras.



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