CCTV makes Lismore City safer
SURVEILLANCE cameras are used in the central business districts of Lismore and Nimbin.
The cameras are administered by Lismore City Council with images feeding into council offices and the Lismore and Nimbin police stations.
The council pays a security company to monitor the system and it also employs security guards to patrol problem areas such as taxi ranks in the city, as well as a low-cost bus to transport revellers home after pubs close.
The system was introduced in 1998 with just a few cameras in the main streets of Lismore but has now been expanded to the greater CBD.
It was initially funded with a combination of business and council dollars, and some state and federal grants have since been received for expansion.
Ongoing costs, said Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell, were funded by Lismore businesses through the Special Business Rates Variation Levy, which helped pay for the CitySafe program. Though a big supporter of the CCTV system, Cr Dowell warned it was no silver bullet against crime. Other strategies were needed.
Detective Inspector Greg Moore, the area’s crime manager, said the system had been instrumental in making the CBD feel safe.
Answering criticisms the system simply pushed crime outside monitored areas, he said the very fact that large crowds and potential problem areas could be identified on camera meant people could be dispersed and problems diffused.
“People tend to move away and go different directions,” he said.
Insp Moore said he had seen the advantages of CCTV in Bourke, his previous post.
Tomorrow, The Examiner talks to a former Lismore City Councillor who speaks out against CCTV.