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City set to adopt crime plan

Wednesday, 28th August, 2013

Councillor and police sergeant, Dave Gallagher, wants CCTV coverage extended to the South Councillor and police sergeant, Dave Gallagher, wants CCTV coverage extended to the South

By Erica Visser

A new City Council crime prevention plan is about to go on display following a spate of vandalism, theft and assaults.

Council decided this year to work with  police to produce the plan, which aims to reduce crime and allowed Council to apply for government funds.

A community survey was conducted to determine locals’ feelings about safety and crime in the city.

Almost 80 per cent of respondents said that Broken Hill was a safe place to live, according to Council. Almost 35 per cent agreed that the city had a “relatively low” rate of crime.

The main problems identified were stealing, offensive behaviour, house break-ins and poor street lighting. There was also “strong concern” about drug and alcohol abuse.

Council has put forward four strategies to combat crime and anti-social behaviour. 

These include public education, partnerships with community organisations, securing homes and public spots and improving civic pride.

The crime plan said that last year there was twice the average number of break and enters at Broken Hill homes compared to NSW overall.

There was also more than double the number of malicious property damage incidents and two-and-a-half times more break and enters at non-residential buildings.

Assaults and car thefts were also far higher than in the rest of the State.

However, new research last week showed that crime rates had fallen in Broken Hill, but just not as much as in metropolitan areas.

Council last week found out it would receive $200,000 from the federal government that it will put towards two CCTV cameras.

Councillor Dave Gallagher said it was a win for Council, but more was needed for adequate CCTV installation throughout the city.

Clr Gallagher said that he also hoped to ensure that CCTVs were installed in the South.

Some Patton Street shop owners say that they are now nervous about trading following an armed robbery and the theft of rifles.

A CCTV image of a recent South hold-up depicted the perpetrator, but the quality of the image was grainy.

Clr Gallagher said that Council would need a compatible system with the right type of cameras to avoid that problem.

“We need the right cameras but lighting can affect it,” he said.

“We must look at a proper system which must be compatible to nearly all cameras. I also believe it must be Wifi and cable-operated as well.”

Clr Gallagher said that he hoped the adoption of the plan would bring on more avenues to apply for CCTV funding.

The draft plan is expected to be adopted at tonight’s Council meeting and be put on public display for 28 days.

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