Move on CCTV access by police
POLICE could have access to private video cameras if a draft CCTV strategy goes ahead.
The strategy announced last week by Police Minister Liza Harvey is part of a State Government election promise to deliver more effective use of closed circuit television in WA.
Ms Harvey said it would refresh the existing CCTV register, known as Blue Iris, and contribute to fighting crime across WA.
“It will allow private operators to register their CCTV system with police, but also addresses guidelines around CCTV – making sure people understand the type of vision police need if they are going to use that footage for an investigation,” she said.
“The strategy also looks at footage that is filmed on mobile phones and offers some kind of system and protocols around that, so police are able to encapsulate some of that CCTV footage that gets captured by the community.”
Under the strategy, police could remotely log onto an IP address where CCTV footage is being downloaded and use the vision as a crime prevention tool.
But the person who owns the CCTV footage would have to enter an agreement with police allowing them access to it.
Ms Harvey said the strategy would mainly focus on entertainment precincts where private cameras faced public areas.
“CCTV makes a significant contribution in terms of both preventing and solving crime,” she said. “However, factors such as poor quality, incorrect formatting or lack of accessibility have hampered police efforts to use it effectively.”