More ex­po­sure for crim­i­nals

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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’’.

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