Eyes watching the streets
THE ongoing issue of crime and anti-social behaviour in the Clarence Valley's CBDs has prompted a number of suggestions on how to control the problem.
Some in the community, particularly business owners, believe following the example of Lismore City Council (LCC) and employing safety cameras to monitor the streets will help.
Strong arguments against taking such a step include the cost to the Clarence Valley Council to establish, operate and maintain a network of cameras.
There are also some who believe constant surveillance of the CBD's main streets would only push the policing problems into surrounding areas.
However, Bill Moorehouse, LCC's group manager of city works, has not registered an example of this since the council installed the cameras six years ago.
He said the network of 12 cameras, periodically monitored each week by a sub-contracted security firm, had played an important role in reducing crime in the CBD.
Mr Moorehouse conceded there would always be people who broke the law regardless but believed an on-ground security team, in constant communication with an operator, had a good chance of detecting and diffusing potential problems.
Access to the camera's file tapes had also greatly aided in police prosecutions for crimes like assaults and vandalism.
Regarding cost, he said LCC was considering installing three cameras in Nimbin's main street for $80,000.
Ongoing wage costs would be determined by how often a council chose to have its cameras monitored.
The LCC also believes the cameras' presence has improved support and crime awareness among business owners in Lismore's CBD.