CCTV monitors in the Lismore City Council building are manned at identified high-risk times.
CCTV monitors in the Lismore City Council building are manned at identified high-risk times.

CCTV keeps cops on streets: police

MORE police on the streets and fewer in the courts.

That’s one of the main benefits of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system, according to Clarence Valley police commander Chief Inspector Darren Spooner.

An enthusiastic advocate of CCTV, Insp Spooner was involved in the major camera installations in the Sydney CBD.

“Some departments are of the view that cameras don’t reduce crime, but that depends on how you look at it,” he said.

“Firstly, it provides documentary evidence that is hard to refute in court.

“Secondly, when police are talking to a suspect and then shows them the footage of themselves doing something – they find it hard to sit there and say it’s not them, which means there are less not guilty pleas.

“This allows police to spend more time on the road and less time in court.”

Insp Spooner said he was aware that criminal activity would move to other areas rather than go away altogether.

“Crime doesn’t go away ... crooks will always find ways to be crooks,” he said.

Regarding the major expense of the ongoing monitoring of cameras, Insp Spooner said it was not in the police’s charter to be responsible for monitoring TV screens. But, he said, police would accept monitoring screens in the station which could be used in the course of duty.

“It’s not our role to sit there and watch screens ... it’s not our core role but if it were to be implemented by council or the chamber of commerce we’d be happy to be involved.”



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