More exposure for criminals
An upgrade to the security cameras in Porirua’s CBD is in the works, with higher-resolution technology likely to result in more convictions of lawbreakers.
The Canopy Connection, which represents the retailers under the canopies, is pushing for new cameras which take clearer pictures to help police identify offenders, and would allow business owners to see pictures on their own computers. The new network would cost $50,000.
All images from the 16 cameras currently go to the Porirua police station, where they are monitored.
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett and councillor Wayne Poutoa brought a notice of motion to the city services committee last week. They asked that the council work with groups such as police, Porirua Guardians and the Canopy Connection to make the upgrade happen, and accommodate any cost within existing budgets.
Kapiti-Mana Police area commander John Spence told the committee while the existing cameras had not been upgraded for some time, or maintained, they were necessary.
In the last few months, a number of people had been caught after incidents of tagging, etching and wilful damage, but the quality of pictures were often unusable in court. ‘‘ They are very expensive to replace but some of these cameras are reaching their use-by dates and the shots are not sharp enough.’’
When asked if police could contribute towards the cost of the upgrade, Mr Spence said it was ‘‘unlikely’’ but he would make inquiries at national headquarters.
Canopy Connection chairman Trevor Campbell said the former McDonald’s building had been damaged many times. He said the $50,000 quote from security firm ADT was preferable as it could be paid over three years, had built-in maintenance, training for people to use it, and camera feeds could be viewed online, rather than solely by police.
Canopy Connection is likely to contribute $ 10,000 per year to the upgrade.
Mark Turner, owner of the BNZ Partners House, the tallest building in the CBD, said while there was a longterm strategy looking at revitalising the city centre, the present also needed to be considered. Up-to-date cameras were a ‘‘ foundation stone’’ as they looked to change the feeling that the CBD was an unsafe place to visit, especially at night.
Canopy Connection manager Eric Jones said retailers wanted this to happen ‘‘as soon as possible’’.