CCTV system proves its worth

A central Queenstown CCTV camera. Photo by Christina McDonald.
A central Queenstown CCTV camera. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Having extra eyes in the form of CCTV cameras around Queenstown's main centre is helping solve and prevent crime.

Acting Senior Sergeant Steve Watt, of Queenstown, said the resort's CCTV system was ''well utilised'' on New Year's Eve, when staff watched the cameras for signs of trouble.

''That provided excellent results and we were able to identify a number of situations that were becoming volatile ... and we were able to deploy staff in a timely fashion before anything developed further.''

The 12-camera, $150,000 system was installed around the resort's central business district shortly before the 2012 Winter Festival and since then the network has gained four more cameras.

Aside from assisting during busy periods such as the festival and New Year's Eve, the system has been used to identify vehicles and locate people in central Queenstown.

He had used it to help with vehicle accident investigations and it was also helpful when people ''simply could not remember'' details of an incident.

''The majority of people'' now expected there to be cameras in central areas, he said, and this also acted as a good ''deterrence factor''.

Police staff required to watch over prisoners when they are kept overnight at the station were also tasked with watching over the CCTV system.

''We'd like to set up a system to man them [the cameras] on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday [nights],'' Acting Snr Sgt Watt said, and ''that's something we're investigating''.