A Dunedin city councillor is calling for video
surveillance of the student quarter as a way of preventing
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
They said disorder in the student quarter was not as bad as
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
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
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
Hyde St resident Tom Norman (21) said such a move would be
''over the top'' and student behaviour was not as bad as made
Maddy Walker (21), who lived in the student quarter last year
but now lives in Bath St, said it would be an invasion of
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.