Po­lice, busi­nesses call for ac­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - SAM SMALLBONE

PORT Dou­glas po­lice are cur­rently ne­go­ti­at­ing with the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil and City Safe about in­stalling seven fully mon­i­tored CCTV se­cu­rity cam­eras at strate­gic lo­ca­tions in Port Dou­glas and Moss­man.

The push for CCTV has been wel­comed by Moss­man busi­nesses in par­tic­u­lar af­ter an­other five shopfronts were smashed last Fri­day night.

The in­stal­la­tion of the cam­eras would be paid for by the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil and mon­i­tored by City Safe as 24 hour sur­veil­lance in Cairns.

Se­nior Con­sta­ble Rus­sell Jean made a pre­sen­ta­tion to the Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce last week to in­form the com­mit­tee how a CCTV sys­tem could be in­stalled.

It was dis­cussed that the cam­eras should be placed out­side the Iron Bar, on the cor­ner of Grant and Macrossan Streets, out­side Rat­tle ’n’ Hum, the north and south ends of the Es­planade, Co­conut Grove and at the end the Port Dou­glas po­lice sta­tion over­look­ing the Court House Ho­tel and park ar­eas.

“From what I un­der­stand Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil would have to pay for the cam­eras and it is some­thing that would be mon­i­tored by City Safe staff in Cairns, 24/7,” he said.

Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil is be­lieved to be con­sid­er­ing a fur­ther roll­out of the pro­gram.

“Port Dou­glas and Moss­man are en­ti­tled to seek the roll­out in their area through the coun­cil,” Se­nior Con­sta­ble Jean said. “I think Port Dou­glas should be push­ing to get it sooner rather than later.”

He ex­pressed con­cerns to the Cham­ber about the in­creased lev­els of vi­o­lence and poor be­hav­iour of a mi­nor­ity in town and in­di­cated CCTV is a very ef­fec­tive tool which has been demon­strated to re­duce crime.

“I am sure that lo­cal po­lice would sup­port any roll­out on this be­cause it is cer­tainly a tool that we could use to pre­vent crime, whether it is be­fore, dur­ing or af­ter the of­fence,” he said. “When an of­fence is ob­served by City Safe then the po­lice are called and they can re­spond ac­cord­ingly.”

Last Fri­day of­fend­ers walked the streets in the early hours of the morn­ing and smashed five store win­dows along Front Street in Moss­man. The shops in­cluded Moss­man Auto Pro, Lou’s Hair Im­ages, Moss­man Cy­cle and Sports Store, Moun­tain View Med­i­cal Cen­tre and Del­phina’s Mas­sage and Heal­ing Arts.

Auto Pro sales­man Damien McKench­nie said this was the sixth time their front win­dow had been bro­ken in the last 18 months.

“We are on about $4000 worth of dam­age which we haven’t seen a cent for,” he said. “If you added up all the bills from the shop own­ers on Front Street you’d nearly have the CCTV se­cu­rity cam­eras paid for.”

Lou’s Hair Im­ages man­ager Lu­cia Govorko said this was the sec­ond win­dow she has had to re­place this year.

“We would def­i­nitely sup­port the idea of CCTV se­cu­rity cam­eras in the main street of Moss­man, I think a lot of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity would,” she said.

Moss­man po­lice Se­nior Con­sta­ble Peter Hornsby is con­fi­dent lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cers would sup­port the in­stal­la­tion of CCTV se­cu­rity cam­eras in Front Street.

“The cam­eras would help us iden­tify of­fend­ers and pre­vent crime es­pe­cially in ar­eas of good or­der of­fences and street re­lated of­fences - ev­ery lit­tle bit helps.”

The Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce has also fully sup­ported the idea and be­lieves it would be need.

Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce re­tail spokesman Doug Calvert said it will make the com­mu­nity safer.

“It’s just an­other way of main­tain­ing law and or­der in the town,” he said.

The cam­eras would cost the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil ap­prox­i­mately $30,000 per cam­era plus a per­son mon­i­tor­ing the cam­eras.

A coun­cil spokesman said James Cook Univer­sity was con­duct­ing a study into the ef­fec­tive­ness of CCTV in Cairns to help de­ter­mine if the City Safe pro­gram should be ex­panded.

Clean­ing up: busi­ness own­ers Damien McKech­nie and Kelly San­tarossa

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