Call for north end cameras

Lee Vandervis
Lee Vandervis
A Dunedin city councillor is calling for video surveillance of the student quarter as a way of preventing out-of-control vandalism.

The call for surveillance from Cr Lee Vandervis was not welcomed by north end residents and students spoken to yesterday, who said such a move would be an invasion of privacy.

They said disorder in the student quarter was not as bad as made out.

Cr Vandervis said video surveillance in the Octagon worked well and there was no reason why it could not be successfully employed in North Dunedin.''

I believe we need to have some cameras up and we need to have a few prosecutions.''

Having one on Leith St would have saved us about $1 million in damaged roads, just with the holes burnt in them in the last couple of years.''

Most students would welcome the resulting improvement in behaviour, as it was only ''a small percentage of vandals'' who gave students a bad name, he said.

Having cameras would make it easier for couch-burners and other vandals to be prosecuted.''

What they need to do is catch this very small number of people - and as I said they are not all students - who are taking advantage basically of a north-end 'do-anything-you-like-zone'.''

Ruby Sycamore-Smith
Ruby Sycamore-Smith
Police, the University of Otago and the council should be involved in a push for cameras, he believed.''

If you look at the costs to city council every year of holes burnt in Leith St, Hyde St, Dundas St ... some years it's been $600,000.''

I think it would be a very worthwhile investment, especially since video camera technology has become very cheap now.''

He praised the university's efforts to improve behaviour, but believed the situation was still out of control.''

How many couch fires have we had in the last month? It's ridiculous,'' he said.

Students the Otago Daily Times spoke to were not pleased with the idea.

Hyde St resident Tom Norman (21) said such a move would be ''over the top'' and student behaviour was not as bad as made out.

Maddy Walker (21), who lived in the student quarter last year but now lives in Bath St, said it would be an invasion of privacy.''

We've earned the right to live away from home and live by ourselves and do what we want and I don't think we should be baby-sat or monitored,'' Ms Walker said.

Students ''should be able to be stupid on the weekend'' and the situation had improved from previous years, she said.

If authorities cracked down too hard on the student area they risked making Dunedin less desirable for students from outside the city.

Dunedin Clutha Waitaki area prevention manager Inspector Mel Aitken issued a statement saying: ''If such a proposal was to be put forward it would need to be analysed closely in terms of crime rates and the value it would add.''

Otago University Students' Association president Ruby Sycamore-Smith said the installation of cameras would be ''discriminatory'' against students.

OUSA would fight it if the idea was taken any further, especially if students felt strongly on the issue, she said.

The university did not respond to questions yesterday.

Stupid weekends for everyone

They're on their way, when cannabis is legalised. CCTV wont be able to keep up with countless images of the elderly being deleterious.

Privacy is long gone

Sorry Baxter, but democracy or not, the days of privacy are long gone. Students should know this more than anyone. Guaranteed, most are on Facebook or similar and you can be sure most have phones with cameras and video ability. They are quite happy to photo/video themselves, in illegal or legal activities, and upload to Facebook, Youtube or whatever.

Also guaranteed, is that they don't care about the privacy of anyone caught in the background.

I'm a big boy, Baxter. I couldn't care less what others spotted me doing, and I care even less about their opinion of that.

Camera will be everywhere is the future, like it or not. So build a bridge... 

Big Brother the gossip

Sorry Speedfreak, I thought I answered this below:

I'm not sure how you value your privacy to do perfectly legal things without security staff etc gossiping to their buddies who you visit and at what times etc.

But many people do value such in a free democracy – whether it's inappropriate booty calls, students organising a march, or something in between, they have the right to privacy. 

 

Have to suffer?

Baxter, Just how will students suffer, as you put it, by security cameras being installed in the street? As far as I'm aware, they don't emit any radiation or shoot laser beams. Do you feel any pain as you drive past my house and I record that? No.

Of more concern to them should be who has hacked their web cam and is watching what's going on inside their flats.

Cameras?

OK I've thought.........

If there was vandalism in the street I live it I would welcome cameras.

 

Yes please!

"The majority of residents do not behave like this, and it seems they do not want cameras pointing at their homes. Would you?" Short answer, Baxter - yes please. Being peaceful and law-abiding I don't want to have destructive filthy fire-lighting glass-breaking tossers making my immediate environment disgusting - and dangerous - to live in. If cameras reduce the misery to me so I can get on with living the kind of life any reasonable human being prefers, bring 'em on!

What you're all forgetting...

What a lot of people here are forgetting is that not all students are the stereotypical drinkers who behave badly.

Yes, there is a higher proportion than other demographics, and yes all living in a single area makes them more salient.

But that doesn't mean people guilty of nothing have to suffer for the problems caused by those who are.

The majority of residents do not behave like this, and it seems they do not want cameras pointing at their homes.

Would you?

Seriously, answer that before telling us what should be done in someone else's neighbourhood.

Two of the three 'R's

Okay, students should be able to be stupid in the weekend.....imagine if everyone was stupid in the weekend. Not so funny. Yes, people have rights, but with rights comes responsibility. That is the only way that rights are earned, by exhibiting responsibility. The word 'responsibility' does not appear in this article once. Just saying.

From her own lips...

Albert Square states that "all we know of the commenter is that she is a Student. It does not automatically follow that she is immature and riotous."  On the contrary, we know Maddy Walker's opinion: 'Students ''should be able to be stupid on the weekend'' ' - her own words as reported in ODT.   And in the preceding quote she proclaims the "rights" students have "earned".  If this suggests maturity we clearly have different views of the word's definition.  I concede that she may not be endorsing riotousness. Her preferred form of weekend stupidity may be entirely peaceful, for example stupidly attempting to brush her hair with her toothbrush and putting her shoes on the wrong feet.

'Maddy' accused of being young

Oh, for heaven's sake, Hype.O. Thermia, all we know of the commenter is that she is a Student. It does not automatically follow that she is immature and riotous. Very discriminatory. Drunken supposedly mature sports teams are worse.

Lee is correct

Lee is correct - North Dunedin is a "do-anything-you-like-zone".  Thank you for noticing Lee!

As a business owner on George St, I routinely clean up the aftermaths.  It's been getting worse every year in CBD.  Not being from Dunedin, I was horrified to learn I set up shop in the midst of a binge drinking culture!

I can only assume the fine citizenry are unaware of the severity of the problem.  Is it ignorance, denial, or acceptance?  I invite anyone to spend 30 minutes, any Thu or Sat between 10-3am, and quietly observe the anti-social antics.  I guarantee you'll see at least one event you'll find unacceptable.

Whilst this article seems to focus mostly on cost, I'm sure Lee is equally concerned for the welfare of our mostly fantastic young people.  A few are too commonly seen too drunk to walk, darting into traffic in dark, preloading in every dark alley on George St, and unbelievably, girls drunk and alone.  Cameras would help protect the safety of the larger majority.

I've several times asked for better patrol by police and campus watch, but it simply isn't possible to expect occasional and random patrols to materially reduce so much anti-social behaviour.  Cameras in the public areas would be far more effective.

I hate the invasion if privacy too, but short of changing liquor laws, what can DCC really do that would be as effective to make Dunedin civil again?

Behind closed doors

"I very much doubt Vandervis would be happy with a camera pointed at his front door with security workers monitoring it and talking about the goings on - yet that's exactly what he's suggesting for students."  

Baxter, I don't know what sort of home Cr Vandervis lives in but if it is like the average house all sorts of people can see who comes and goes from the place. Most of us have neighbours who can see into our sections, sometimes into our windows.  Dunedin is hilly. This works both ways for privacy.  Some houses are not over-looked by neighbours, others can be seen by people across the valley on the next hill, and some people are so short of amusement that they keep binoculars on the windowsill.  This "privacy" argument is nonsense.  What has been suggested is cameras to monitor the street, not peer in people's windows.  All they will record is what anyone walking along the street would be able to see.  Behind closed doors students will be as free to squeeze their zits unobserved as they ever were.

The right to be a jerk?

“We’ve earned the right to live away from home and live by ourselves and do what we want."  No, Maddy Walker, you haven't "earned" those rights, you just got older chronologically.  Proportionate maturity of character would have been nice.  

And students have the same right as anyone else to do what they want, except when they want to do things that are illegal or against the rules of a club they have joined, the workplace where they are employed, the school or university they attend.  They have the right to make a noisome prat of themselves in society. It would be unwise to expect other members of society to sit back and tolerate their behaviour, though.  We will, singly or collectively, take measures that they may not like.  Tough.

Take a cement pill.  Grow up, not just older.  "Earn" some credit as a social asset not a liability, it's worth it in the long run.

Security cameras

Get used to them. If you don't like them, don't misbehave in front of them, or at all.  Pretty simple really.

Fact of the matter is that more cameras are being installed everyday, all around the city, including private residences.

I have them at my place and one faces the street. I get to view all the goings on and passers-by. [Abridged]

Out of touch

Maddy, what do you mean that you have earned the right to leave home? How exactly is that right earned? You also say that students should be able to be stupid on the weekend. What does that entail Maddy? Getting drunk, destroying property, making a public nuisance of themselves, disrupting their neighbours quality of life? Have the community and ratepayers not earned the right to expect that students will give the same respect to them as you clearly feel you have earned from the community?
I don't believe that the community should be intolerant toward students but destroying property and causing a public nuisance is unaccepatable. Maddy, when you have graduated and you are earning big money, living is a handsome suburb, I can guarantee you and your middle class peers will be the first to complain about those making a nuisance of themselves in your back yard. Everything seems so simple when you are young and you feel the world should revolve around you. It's only later that you start to get it.

Discriminatory? Say what?

I have to disagree with OUSA president Ruby Sycamore-Smith's comment that the installation of cameras in the north end would somehow be ''discriminatory'' against students.

Surely such cameras would catch anyone who chooses to vandalise that part of our city, not just students? 

 

Would he tolerate this in his own neighbourhood?

I very much doubt Vandervis would be happy with a camera pointed at his front door with security workers monitoring it and talking about the goings on - yet that's exactly what he's suggesting for students.

Students, like all residents, have plenty to hide; that doesn't necessarily mean anything illegal. I don't want security guards talking about who I do and don't visit. That's completely inappropriate.

I sympathise with the road damage issue, but breaching innocent residents' privacy is no solution.

 

 

The 'right' to pay up . . .

I agree with MINT's comments. And they do need to be 'baby- sat and monitored'- just as they would be at their parents' home if they were 'stupid at the weekend'. 

This is our home and we don't want it wrecked. 

Vandals should be prosecuted and pay for the damage. No money? Well get a loan or ask mum and dad to pay. I don't want to pay that's for sure.

You get privacy in your home

You get privacy in your home not on a public street. Install the CCTV cameras I say.

Cameras

If students have nothing to hide, then they shouldn't be concerned about cameras being installed, should they?   If anything, it'll make them feel safer, surely?   Anyway, shouldn't they be studying, not vandalising and/or drinking ?

Typical answers

''discriminatory against students": No, it would be discriminatory against criminals, which is fine.

"If authorities cracked down too hard on the student area they risked making Dunedin less desirable for students from outside the city": Rubbish! It would only make it less desirable to the criminal element that want to come here.

''should be able to be stupid on the weekend':' Stupid yes, but not when they break the law and cause rate payers to pay for their crimes.
"We've earned the right to live away from home and live by ourselves and do what we want and I don't think we should be baby-sat or monitored,'' No, you have not earned any right to do what you want.

"a move would be over the top and student behaviour was not as bad as made out.": Their illegal antics are in my opinion over the top, and yes, their behaviour is as bad as it is being made out to be....in fact it is worse. I worked as a Security Officer for many years at the University and I can tell you right now that it is far worse than they say.

Most of what the students get up to is covered up by the University and the DCC, I used to see the trucks come to the Uni area in the early hours Monday morning to quickly clean up all the mess that the students would make in the weekend so when the workers arrived they would see nothing of what really went on. [Abridged]

Stop being stupid

We've earned the right to live away from home and live by ourselves and do what we want and I don't think we should be baby-sat or monitored,'' Ms Walker said. Students ''should be able to be stupid on the weekend'' and the situation had improved from previous years, she said.

Can't believe the garbage coming out of this student's mouth. This is supposedly our future 'hopes', ladies and gentlemen. Yes you can do what you want, but are you doing it in a civilised manner? We've given you kids the freedom and what have you done with it? You've abused it to the fullest by absolutely wrecking the place.

You're in this city for an education, not to "be stupid" and act like delinquents. Has it ever occurred to you that some people call this city, 'home'? How would you like it if someone came to your house, wrecked it, and just left? And you had to foot the bill for repairs?

If students are adamant about being "stupid", then they and the OUSA can pay for the repairs. They have plenty of money, don't they? I'm all for installing the security cameras!

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