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Sumner lends itself to having surveillance cameras at each end of the village with number plate recognition technology. This would also be a tool for the police to identify offenders entering and leaving the village.
From experience, I totally support the installation of crime cameras in Sumner and they should also be incorporated into the design of the proposed skate park without a doubt.
In establishing a youth skate park on Rolleston Reserve in 2010, we obtained a bus and 30 kids for a day. We visited skate parks at Moorhouse Ave, Harewood Rd and Rangiora and in a questionnaire, we asked them what features they wanted at their skate park compared to what they experienced on the day. They quickly identified the features they did and did not like – and identified they would like security cameras for their own safety.
Rolleston Reserve now has 22 cameras, Brookside Park has nine and the Foster Dog Park has three. We have expanded the cameras to areas of the park to protect public property and identify offenders committing wilful damage and graffiti artists. The reserve management committee has adopted a zero-tolerance policy on crime and all offences and video images of the offenders are reported to the police.
Who knows if this early intervention is the act that turns a youth away from a life of crime? At the request of police, the cameras at Rolleston Reserve were connected to a monitor at the police station and the police have identified this as an important tool in their toolbox.
I am certain that the cameras are a major deterrent but importantly they have been used to identify offences resulting in prosecutions for assaults, thefts and vandalism.