Security camera project launched
Twenty CCTV cameras in Woy Woy, Ettalong and Umina aimed to deter crime and anti-social behaviour throughout the Peninsula have been officially launched.
The project was officially launched at a special ceremony held at Woy Woy Library on July 13.
Member for Robertson Ms Belinda Neal, Gosford Mayor Cr Chris Holstein and Peninsula Chamber of Commerce president Mr Matthew Wales were in attendance.
Mr Wales said it was wonderful to see the project finally completed after more than four years of advocacy from the chamber.
"We have been calling for Gosford Council and the government to take on this type of a project for some time now and it is definitely pleasing to see it come through for Peninsula residents and business owners," Mr Wales said.
"I look forward to seeing how effective the cameras will be in reducing crime in Ettalong, Umina and Woy Woy CBD areas particularly vandalism and graffiti attacks."
The Peninsula CCTV system has been fully operational, on a trial basis, since June 30, and will be controlled from Woy Woy Police Station.
According to information provided by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department, police staff will not be in a position to monitor the system 24/7 but will monitor the video screens during each shift where practical.
However, the system allows police staff to playback and review footage when following up on information.
The Peninsula CCTV project was funded by a Federal Government grant of $680,000 as part of the Safer Suburbs Plan.
Ms Neal said she was delighted she could help make the business centres of the Peninsula safer places to live, work and shop.
"This is great news for the people on the Peninsula," Ms Neal said.
"The Safer Suburbs Plan a $15 million Australia-wide Federal Government initiative to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour by funding important community safety measures such as the Peninsula CCTV Project.
"The CCTV cameras will bring enormous social benefits to the residents, shop owners and business people of the Peninsula."
Cr Holstein said that he hoped the CCTV cameras would serve as a deterrent to anyone considering breaking the law.
"Whilst these cameras won't fix everything, they will serve as a strong deterrent for potential law breakers.
"The general public have nothing to fear with the installation of these cameras.
"The Peninsula is a great place to live, work and play, and will continue to be so."
According to Cr Holstein, Gosford Council and the Brisbane Water Local Area Command are anticipating a reduction in crime rates in the Woy Woy, Umina Beach and Ettalong Beach precincts in the coming months as a result of the increased security measure and improved ability for police to respond to incidents.
The Peninsula CCTV project was undertaken by Sydney company ECS Services who had the responsibility of installing on 20 cameras and associated wireless infrastructure.
The system design, specifications and overseeing of installation quality was also provided by Sydney-based company Security Consultants International.
Each camera location will see prominent signage in place advising members of the public when they are entering an area monitored by the CCTV system.
All 20 cameras in the Peninsula CCTV system feature a pan/tilt/zoom function, auto focus, high resolution images and low light technology to ensure the full potential and effectiveness of the system.
The cameras also feature "privacy blanking" to eliminate privacy issues where a private property boundary is within sight of the CCTV camera.
The privacy blanking function blurs any image relating to a private property including windows and backyards.
Gosford council will have responsibility of the maintenance and repair of the system at a cost of up to $80,000 per year.
The system's performance and suitability of the CCTV camera locations will also be continually monitored and evaluated by a steering committee convened by council representing the police and key stakeholders in the community including the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.
This means cameras can be relocated to a new area if a location proves unsuitable.
All CCTV footage will be kept by police for 28 days unless it can be used for evidentiary purposes in the apprehension of law breakers.