PUSH FOR CCTV
Police, businesses call for action
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