New CCTV control room boosts capacity

Date published: 29 June 2017

Townsville City Council’s CCTV surveillance capabilities have received a boost with the move to a new, larger control room at the city’s Garbutt Depot.

The new room has space for two operators, who will monitor live footage from the city’s 212-strong camera network, monitoring public spaces throughout Townsville 24/7.

The move from the old control room, also at the Garbutt Depot, also provided an opportunity to upgrade from 4, 40-inch monitors to 8, 50-inch monitors, allowing operators to view more cameras at once.

Community Safety Advisory Committee chairman Cr Russ Cook said council’s CCTV network was a vital part of the city’s security network.

“Our operators work around the clock zooming in to provide real time coverage of incidents where police or emergency services responses are taking place,” Cr Cook said.

“Already this year, we’ve logged some 1320 incidents ranging from local law breaches to assault, vandalism, and liquor and drug offences.”

Since January 1, the control room has dispatched council’s Community Response Patrol to 612 live incidents, with 247 directed to Police, 16 to Riverway Security and three to Queensland Ambulance.

“We have a strong and close association with emergency services and Police to assist them with their investigations as required. Already this year, we’ve provided footage of some 283 incidents at the request of Police.

The work of the team is not just about keeping crime down, with the operators trained to assist with missing people, lost children and those wanted by police for offences .

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

“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.”

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.

Council’s 2017/18 budget includes $2.4 million for CCTV monitoring, security patrols and operation of council’s Community Response Vehicle.