Install more cameras

Much has been said in the public debate leading up to Albury Council finally going ahead with the decision to install CCTV cameras in the city’s CBD.

The proposal is one that has been around, in various forms, for many years.

Discussion of the issue has always become more vocal whenever there has been an especially nasty assault in the centre of the city.

And why that is the case is quite understandable.

Albury has long been the nightlife capital of the region, which of course is especially the case at weekends.

Pubs and restaurants are packed and boutique bars have more recently come into the mix.

Most people want to be able to go out and relax and celebrate and meet up with friends. Certainly the licencees of these establishments work under a strict regime that means it will be to the detriment of their business if they allow people to drink too much.

Nevertheless, there are always those who find a way to beat the system and become obnoxious drunks and worse – they unleash senseless violence.

Staff at these establishments can only police their own premises and police, even when at full strength, cannot be everywhere at once.

That’s simply stating the obvious. Just as obvious is that there will always be those violent thugs who are out to cause trouble, inevitably leading to assaults.

The benefits then of the now-installed Albury CCTV network are abundantly clear.

Indeed, police have already been making the most of the resource, making at least one request a week for footage to help their ongoing investigations.

The council managed to roll out the network so far under budget that it is now planning on putting cameras into the recently completed Kiewa Street car park.

That is the result of the $217,000 it saved from installing the 52 cameras out of the original budget of $900,000.

There is one hurdle to clear first; the federal government, its funding partner for the Dean Street precinct system, has to come good with its backing for 20 cameras in the multi-deck car park.

It would appear to be a sensible move, given the 16 cameras in the Volt Lane car park have been helping prevent malicious damage, vandalism and graffiti.