CCTV cameras could soon be in residential streets under one community group’s plan to deter crime and catch criminals.
Tim Payne from Community Against Crime is keen to roll out a safety cam initiative that records 24-hour live digital footage from a number of cameras along a street, with participating residents able to access real-time footage of movement in their street.
Residents can also contact one another via a dedicated online messenger group, so information can be shared. Mr Payne said the community safety program was a way for residents to take safety into their own hands.
“Most people are fearful of home invasions,” he said.
“If they hear a noise, they don’t have to physically go outside [to check], they can log on to the cameras and see what’s happening. It could be nothing but if there is something happening, they then contact police.”
In recent months several Tarneit and Truganina residents have told Star Weekly they were afraid to leave their homes after dark following a spate of violent crimes across Wyndham, including a shooting and stabbing in Knightsbridge Drive, Tarneit, on May 28, and a jogger attacked by a group of up to 10 youths in a Truganina park on May 19.
New crime data shows aggravated burglaries in Wyndham have hit a five-year high, up 62.4 per cent in the 12 months to March 31.
Mr Payne said he was conferring with a number of Wyndham residents to gauge interest in the program following a recent community safety forum in Truganina.
He said the cameras, which are undergoing a trial in Diggers Rest, could help deter crime and, in the event of a crime or anti-social behaviour, help police detect those responsible.
There’s one hitch: at least 14 properties in one street would need to sign up for the program to work, with participants needing to cough up $400 in set-up fees plus an annual $150 membership fee for maintenance and support.
Wyndham council safer communities portfolio holder Kim McAliney said while residents were well within their rights to install CCTV cameras at their homes, they might not offer the benefits residents were hoping for.
“While CCTV cameras are a fantastic tool for investigating incidents after they have occurred, studies suggest CCTV cameras don’t necessarily reduce incidents of crime in public spaces,” Cr McAliney said.
Wyndham police Acting Inspector Peter Bitton said CCTV was getting cheaper and could be useful when combined with other crime-prevention strategies, such as not allowing the mailbox to overflow, keeping trees and shrubs trimmed and having your home well lit.
“CCTV is regularly used by detectives when investigating crime however, the footage needs to be of good quality,” he said.
Acting Inspector Bitton also encouraged residents to call triple-0 to report suspicious activity, rather than posting it to social media.