Neigh­bours pay for their own se­cu­rity cam­era

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ELLA FUN­NELL and EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Neigh­bours have taken se­cu­rity in their street into their own hands af­ter a se­ries of home and car breakins.

The res­i­dents of Hills­borugh’s Bam­field Place ar­ranged for a se­cu­rity cam­era to be in­stalled to help gather in­for­ma­tion and de­ter fu­ture thefts.

Res­i­dents from the first nine houses in the cul-de-sac have con­trib­uted to the cost of in­stalling the cam­era.

Pro­ject co-or­di­na­tor James Cald­well says once in place the cam­era costs noth­ing to run.

‘‘The cam­era takes away the fear of the un­known,’’ he says. ‘‘It helps us catch the bad­dies. I feel bet­ter hav­ing an idea of what’s go­ing on in the street.’’

He also be­lieves it will pro­vide a great deal of in­for­ma­tion and ev­i­dence for the po­lice in the event of fu­ture bur­glar­ies.

Gary Miller

is a for­mer po­lice­man and dis­trict rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Com­mu­nity Pa­trols New Zealand (CPNZ) and says there are a lot of is­sues peo­ple need to be aware of when it comes to op­er­at­ing se­cu­rity cam­eras.

‘‘You need to be care­ful of sur­veil­lance acts,’’ he says. ‘‘And cam­eras need to be good, oth­er­wise iden­ti­fi­ca­tion is dif­fi­cult as im­ages are grainy.’’

Mr Miller sug­gests wor­ried neigh­bours should keep an eye out for each other.

‘‘Take note of un­known ve­hi­cles and peo­ple who look nor­mal but their be­hav­iour is sus­pi­cious. It is bet­ter to come along at the top [rather] than with an am­bu­lance at the bot­tom of the cliff.’’

Bam­field Place res­i­dent Sue Karl ex­pe­ri­enced one of the re­cent break-ins.

She ar­rived home to a bro­ken win­dow and $20,000 worth of goods stolen in­clud­ing an­tique jewellery be­long­ing to her mother.

‘‘I have lived on the street for 34 years and re­cently peo­ple are get­ting very dar­ing. Bur­glary is get­ting worse and hav­ing the cam­era makes me feel more com­fort­able.’’

One­hunga com­mu­nity polic­ing team Sergeant Rhys Smith says the cam­era is a great proac­tive ap­proach to pre­vent­ing crime.

‘‘They’re ba­si­cally say­ing to crim­i­nals ‘don’t come down our street be­cause we’ll no­tice any crime and re­port it to po­lice’.

‘‘Po­lice aren’t every­where and we rely a lot on com­mu­ni­ties help­ing to pre­vent crime as well,’’ he says.

‘‘If they’ve got footage of a sus­pi­cious car or a bur­glar’s car go­ing down the street it gives us lines of in­quiry and bet­ters our chances of ar­rest­ing some­body,’’ he says.

Mr Smith says this is the first time he has heard of a street com­ing to­gether to in­stall a cam­era.

Bam­field Place is look­ing at an­other cam­era in the fu­ture. Signs will in­form the pub­lic the cam­eras are there.

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