Security cameras keep eagle eye on city's public areas

Date published: 22 December 2016

Townsville’s network of security cameras have homed in on anti-social behaviour in high profile public areas.

A total of 1873 incidents have been logged since July 1 this year ranging from local law breaches to assault, vandalism, and liquor and drug offences.

The data includes 1069 incidents identified by the CCTV Monitoring Room in the CBD, followed by 355 at Dean Park, 294 at The Strand, 96 at Riverway and  28 at Jezzine Barracks.

Council’s network of 246 CCTV cameras also assisted the Queensland Police Service with their investigations with requests for camera footage from 603 incidents.

Community Safety Advisory Committee chairman Cr Russ Cook said council’s CCTV network was an effective means of identifying trouble and reporting incidents.

“You play up and there’s a very good chance you’ll be caught on camera,” Cr Cook said.

“Our trained staff are able to pass on important information to either the community response vehicle (CRV) or the police as an incident is happening.

“Operators can zoom in to provide real time coverage of incidents where police or emergency services responses are taking place.

“Nothing substitutes an on-the-ground visible policing presence however and the cameras are in place to provide assistance to the police and to serve as a deterrent.”

Townsville City Council’s 2015/16 budget includes $2.12 million for the city’s CCTV network and security patrols.

“Our council recognises the importance of protecting public safety for all our residents,” Cr Cook said.

“Security patrols and cameras work day and night to safeguard the community when in public areas.”

The CCTV network keeps watch over the CBD, the Strand, Dean Park, Riverway, Jezzine Barracks Redevelopment, Garbutt Operations Centre, Black Weir and Thuringowa Civic Centre.

Live vision is monitored 24 hours a day at the Townsville City Council’s monitoring room at the Garbutt Operations Centre from where staff provide information directly to the CPV and police.

The council also has more than 100 stand-alone cameras at facilities and buildings across the city and two State-funded mobile CCTV units that can be moved around to various locations in the city.