Grafton's long wait for CCTV coverage is over
GRAFTON has waited a long time for Federal Government cash to install CCTV in crime hotspots in the city, but the good news is it will get plenty of bang for its $200,000.
The Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, yesterday came good on his 2016 election promise of $200,000 for CCTV cameras in Grafton and South Grafton.
Mr Hogan acknowledged the Grafton business community had been agitating for Government help for more than a decade.
But he said improvements in technology and lower costs meant the city could afford a much better and more flexible coverage.
"CCTV makes our town safer, can save lives, and most certainly will prevent crime," he said.
"The local business community approached me before the election asking for funding for these cameras.
"This funding will allow a roll-out of cameras and equipment in Grafton and South Grafton CBDs."
Mr Hogan said the Grafton Chamber of Commerce, Clarence Valley Council and the Coffs Clarence Police Local Area Command would work together to decide on the best way to cover trouble spots.
Chamber executive officer Mark Butler said the chamber would soon seek expressions of interest from businesses to see what sort of coverage they wanted.
He said the grant would enable both internal cameras for individual businesses and street coverage.
"There will be a small charge for internal cameras, but street coverage is free," he said.
He said the chamber would create a webpage for the EOIs and link to it from the chamber's webpage.
Mr Butler said there was also the capability of mobile CCTV coverage which would allow more extensive coverage.
"We're looking to go beyond covering just the strict CBD areas in Grafton and South Grafton," he said.
He said the EOIs would enable businesses to register for the type of CCTV protection they wanted.
Mr Hogan said the new technology available would give Grafton businesses better options at a lower cost.
"Grafton will get more flexible options than they've got in Casino," he said. "For $400,000 all they've got is external streetscape coverage. Grafton's coverage will be more flexible with a mix of internal and external coverage."
Mr Butler said the Casino experience showed how effective CCTV was at deterring anti-social behaviour and crime.
"There was a service station in Casino notorious for violent behaviour at night," he said.
"Since they've installed the cameras the word has got out and the violence has dropped away completely."
He said the mobile coverage option meant more of the city could be covered.
Mr Hogan said the CCTV systems should start rolling out by September.