CCTV plan for student area

A CCTV camera in Hyde St, in north Dunedin. Photo ODT Files
A CCTV camera in Hyde St, in north Dunedin. Photo ODT Files

The University of Otago has unveiled a controversial plan to dot 60 cameras around North Dunedin.

The $1.275 million project is set to be split into two phases and the university hopes to begin rolling out the cameras covering areas north and south campus, including on Castle and Leith Sts, this year.

The next phase would be carried out next year and involved the areas east of the campus, including Clyde, Dundas and George Sts.

Vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said it would consult with students before rolling out the project, which was aimed at keeping students safe.

"The plan regarding CCTV has not been finalised because we were waiting for input from students, including OUSA, which began on Monday with a visit from the deputy proctor,'' Prof Hayne said.

But she believed the project had merit.

"We have done substantial work in this area and in my view, CCTV is the best way to keep our students safe.

"But if someone can come up with an alternative idea, I'm all ears.''

The initiative comes amid increasing concern about students being the target of crime by non-students coming into the North Dunedin area.

The news prompted concern from students after the plan was first revealed by students magazine Critic today.

Some students on the magazine's Facebook page were concerned about their privacy being invaded, while others believed it was necessary to keep them safe.

Comments

What on earth gives the University of Otago the right to put up cameras on public streets? Who do they think they are? They are not the government or the council. It is one thing for the council and police to put cameras in the Octagon, or anywhere else, but for a university this is seriously overstepping its role.