THE murder of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher highlighted the vital role CCTV footage can play in solving crime and has renewed calls for more cameras in Orange.
Since cameras were installed in the central business district in 2008 there has been constant discussion about increasing the number of cameras, Orange councillor and Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee chair Glenn Taylor said.
“The bottom line is they work,” he said.
“Police made a number of successful prosecutions ... there will always be acts of violence and vandalism but they definitely help.”
There are 10 cameras operating in the CBD and Cr Taylor said he would be happy to advance the cause to get more for Orange.
“The more we have, the more chance we have of people getting caught if they perpetrate a crime,” he said.
“It was a 10-year political battle to get them in place and I maintain they have a deterrent effect.”
While the cameras cover from Sale Street to Peisley Street, Cr Taylor says there are places that need greater coverage.
“There are lots of strategic problems with cameras like trees that impede the vision,” he said.
“It’s not just a matter of putting them up and hoping for the best.”
Cr Taylor said Ms Meagher’s murder highlighted that violent crime can and does happen on the streets after dark.
“We’ve tried to get that message out there with the Wingman program,” he said.
“If you’re out on the street late at night, you’re at greater risk of being met with some sort of harm.
“No one is being the fun police, go out and have a great time but look out for your friends.”
CCTV Audit Committee chair Ellie Brown said the council’s mobile cameras could be moved to areas as needed.
“CCTV doesn’t stop crime, it’s all about looking and monitoring, and using them as aids,” she said.
“We can’t have a camera on every corner.
“At the end of the day we all have to be responsible for our own personal safety.”
Mrs Brown says everyone needs to be equally aware of potential dangers.
“It’s naive to just target women, terrible things happen to men as well,” she said.
Services Policy Committee chair Cr Ron Gander said police had been satisfied with the results from CCTV cameras.
Footage from the cameras is not watched 24 hours a day, but Cr Gander said the council, together with police, could consider more regular monitoring on special occasions like New Year’s Eve.