THERE will be extra eyes watching over Warrnambool’s CBD by next Christmas, when eight surveillance cameras are linked to the police station.
High-definition footage will be recorded from key locations within and around the busy block of Liebig, Koroit, Kepler and Timor streets.
This week police and city council representatives walked the streets with security consultant Paul Dingemans, who has been appointed to advise on design, location and installation.
Their advice will help determine where to attach the cameras.
Tenders are expected to be called by May, with installation early in the new financial year and final testing completed before Christmas.
Last year the state government allocated $168,000 for purchase of the equipment, while the council budgeted $25,000 for installation and $40,000 a year for maintenance.
Mr Dingemans, of Hoppers Crossing, has just completed installation of nine CCTV cameras at Colac, which became operational on January 2.
“We will be attaching the devices to public assets so council can retain ownership,” he said.
“They will be linked to the police station with wireless technology.
“These will be high-definition cameras with eight times more resolution than standard equipment, able to identify faces.”
Senior Sergeant Russell Tharle, of Warrnambool police, said officers would remotely control zoom and direction of the cameras.
“It’s another tool in our box to try to try to stop violence and improve community safety,” he said.
“Cameras have proven to be successful in other areas, including Colac, where an offender was apprehended after being spotted in a crowd.
“In Geelong, cameras have been used as a preventative tool when police see situations that could escalate and allocate resources to those areas.
“Footage will be monitored during shifts and images will remain at the police station to comply with privacy standards.”
City council business support manager Tanya Egan said CCTV was part of the CBD revitalisation project.
“We want a culturally rich 21st century city centre, which people can enjoy knowing they are safe,” she said.
“Council is delighted to work with police and the state government.”
Mr Dingemans said the first 12 months of maintenance would be included in the initial contract and subsequent work would have to be arranged by council.
He is also helping with other CCTV projects at Shepparton, Kinglake and the Mornington Peninsula.
More venues will be announced in the next round of government grants, due to be announced in February.