eyes of the law are expanding across Otago.
Oamaru's first CCTV network could be operating next month,
and in Dunedin, police are in talks about adding more
The Waitaki District Council will install up to eight cameras
at hot spots in Oamaru and their number could eventually
The cameras will feed to the Oamaru police station and be
monitored on Friday and Saturday nights by trained
At other times, footage will be recorded.
Detective Warren Duncan, of Oamaru, said CCTV could go a long
way to prevent crime, particularly wilful damage.
Cameras would give police extra sets of eyes.
Any savings to the council from less vandalism would benefit
But CCTV would not be the ''be all and end all'' of crime
Det Duncan had researched CCTV use in other areas such as
Timaru and Queenstown.
In Timaru, the cost of vandalism fell by about $200,000
within a year of CCTV being installed, he said.
The cameras have long been discussed for Oamaru, but costs
were too high.
Council community safety and development facilitator Helen
Algar said the idea was revisited with the development of
A council commitment of $20,000 and significant volunteer and
community contributions, including time and expertise, was
bringing the $60,000 project to reality.
"We will start with one or two units and, with support, it
will grow over time to the full complement of 16,'' Mrs Algar
She said she hoped the first unit would be in place by
September, but it was a complex task and several factors
would determine the time frame.
The CCTV network will monitor traffic flow in and out of
Cameras will be placed high enough to prevent vandalism but
low enough for a good view of traffic, and painted to fit in
Mrs Algar said they would not impinge on the public's
In Dunedin, police want the city's CCTV network expanded.
The cameras went live in November 2010 as a part of a joint
safety project between the Dunedin City Council, police and
the Ministry of Justice.
Inspector Mel Aitken confirmed police were in talks with the
council, ''just to ensure we have them in the right places
and whether there is the opportunity to increase them in the
''This is all about keeping Dunedin safe,'' the Dunedin
Clutha Waitaki area prevention manager said.
The city has 14 cameras, including a number plate recognition
camera, in the Octagon.
The cameras had helped in arrests, but were primarily used
for crime prevention.
''It means we can identify hot spots where trouble might be
brewing, and deploying staff there before any action takes
place,'' Insp Aitken said.
''They are a great prevention tool.''
More cameras would be ''fantastic''.
George St, as the main pedestrian thoroughfare and a popular
late-night eating spot, was a possible option, she said.
''If we had the capacity to put them in other places that
attract people, then that is where we would like to see
Police and council will also investigate if more signs are
needed to raise awareness of the cameras.
The existing camera system cost $205,000, was manned by
volunteers during peak times and overseen by police officers.
DCC liquor licence project officer Kevin Mechen said official
costings for the cameras were yet to be made.