CCTV cuts crime as fed-up resident installs her own

SOUTH Grafton anti-crime crusader Patty McDonald has found something to turn around the level of crime in her neighbourhood: CCTV.

After installing the cameras which cover both her home and street over the past 18 months, the incidence of street crime has plummeted.

Ms McDonald came to the attention of Australia in November last year when A Current Affair broadcast her battle with some aggressive neighbours.

To help her case, she installed CCTV cameras around her property and these have continued to provide a benefit for her months later

Ms McDonald has lived in a street off the notorious Bimble Ave area for 27 years and admitted the criminal behaviour in the streets had shaken her confidence.

But in the past year crime in her neighbourhood has dropped away.

"Since we had Current Affair here I think people are aware we have CCTV," she said.

"In fact I've heard people saying don't go there because you might get on the telly."

Ms McDonald said the cameras have worked so well in her street, she said it would be a good idea anywhere.

"I've spoken to another lady in another area of the town and she's keen to do something similar," she said.

Ms McDonald also praised the police for the way they handled any footage she gave them.

"I've handed copies of video footage from my cameras to the police and Department of Housing," she said.

"The police have always been really good and happy to use anything I give them."

Coffs Clarence Police Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said police supported any use of CCTV which prevented crime and helped people feel safer in their communities.

"CCTV has long been used by many councils, businesses and shopping centres as a deterrent against criminal behaviour," he said.

"If home owners are so inclined to take similar precautions to make their homes safer, police support that action."

He said any evidence of crime captured on CCTV should be handed to police.

He warned against showing the commission of crimes on Facebook or other social media as it could harm the chances of a prosecution.

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