Orange City Council will have no hesitation in acting to place mobile cameras in the Orange cemetery if attacks on graveside mementos continue.
Decorations on the grave of Julie Dittmar’s daughter Hayley Louise were smashed over the weekend, prompting Mrs Dittmar to call for more security to help catch more “disgusting” attacks.
Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee chair Jason Hamling hoped the attack was a one-off, but said he council would act swiftly if graves were vandalised again.
Cr Hamling said he was “disgusted” by the attack, which was done by “the lowest of the low”, but said he was cautious to immediately put CCTV cameras in the cemetery.
“The cemetery is a place of grieving and we don’t know how people would feel about being on camera up there,” he said.
We really do hope it’s a once-off because it’s sickening someone would do that.Orange councillor Jason Hamling
“There is the question of if it’s a one-off or a pattern, and if it’s a pattern we will have no hesitation in utilising the mobile CCTV cameras.
“Hopefully it is just a one-off, the majority of people know what the cemetery is used for and visit relatives.”
Cr Hamling said despite balancing the privacy of people at the cemetery with increased security measures, he and council were determined to catch the culprits.
“We want catch them and will work with police if need be, and if they say having cameras up there helps then we will work with them,” he said.
“If anyone sees anything out there while placing flowers or anything, please contact council staff as soon as possible.
“The sort of people who do this don’t have a conscience … it’s a minority doing it and ruining it for everyone else.
“We really do hope it’s a once-off because it’s sickening someone would do that.”
Cr Hamling did indicate a permanent CCTV presence was unlikely, with mobile CCTV cameras the first port of call if more security is needed, with the cemetery locked at night, with council workers conducting patrols.
The council was awarded a federal government grant of $471,681 in June to improve security around Orange, with a portion of that money to go towards the mobile cameras.
While the technology is yet to be purchased and specific details aren’t yet finalised, it’s believed the cameras will be portable, and mountable on trees, poles and buildings around the city as needed.
They will not need access to power and will send footage through mobile networks in real-time.