CRIME may shift to residential parts of Lavington if security cameras are installed in the suburb's shopping areas, Albury's deputy mayor says.
Amanda Cohn raised that scenario at Monday night's council meeting during debate about plans to erect CCTV along Mate Street, Wagga Road and other commercial strips.
She noted lockout laws in Sydney had seen crime pushed into other areas and suggested that could replicated in Lavington.
"I wouldn't sleep well at night if we reduced crime in the business areas of Lavington that are identified on this map (outlining proposed CCTV sites) and moved it to the nearby residential areas of Lavington," Cr Cohn said.
Former mayor Henk van de Ven said there was not any evidence to suggest council security cameras put in the Albury CBD had shifted crime to outlying areas.
"And I don't expect that to happen in Lavington either," Cr van de Ven said.
Cr Cohn questioned how successful the Dean St cameras have been, given police had not provided data to the council to demonstrate how many criminals had been caught and prosecuted.
She said she sought a confidential report on the issue from police to councillors and it had not been provided.
"The primary purpose of the CCTV is purportedly to improve community safety, if there were clear evidence that it improved community safety then I would support it," Cr Cohn said.
"But I'm really concerned that doing this on principal alone or on a survey of people that think it might make them safer....might have unintended consequences."
Cr Cohn said CCTV had been installed in hundreds of cities across the globe and there is not strong evidence from any that there had been a "dramatic reduction in overall crime".
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Councillor Darren Cameron, who moved a motion that could see council approve an initial rollout of cameras by the end of the year, said he had no doubt based on police feedback that CCTV in Dean Street had cut crime.
"They have been a splendid success, not only do they deter crime in the CBD, they greatly assist in convicting criminals and people engaged in other anti-social behaviour and they are a great asset and something we should be supporting for Lavington," Cr Cameron said.
The Labor Party member accused Cr Cohn of being driven by her Greens membership in opposing cameras.
"The comments and objections raised by Cr Cohn are really just Green dogma and dogma that we have heard from NSW Greens on many occasions, both locally and at the state level," Cr Cameron said referring to the party's objections to CCTV in Nowra.
Councillor David Thurley backed Cr Cohn in arguing statistics relating to the effectiveness of the Dean Street system should be presented before bankrolling a Lavington expansion.
"I'd be very reluctant and very careful in proceeding too rapidly with Lavington," Cr Thurley said.
"It's a totally different technical issue than putting cameras up and down Dean Street.
"If you look at the map we were given, the Lavington area is a much more complicated, open area and to implement something there effectively would be difficult."
Cr Cameron argued Lavington businesses deserved the same protection via CCTV as those in the CBD.
Those to voice support for his motion included former mayor Alice Glachan, Graham Docksey and Murray King as well as Cr van de Ven.
A report outlining the cost of implementing the first stage of cameras, covering Wagga Road and Mate Street, is to be made by the council chief executive Frank Zaknich by the end of the year.
The council's community and place leader Simona Coad gave the meeting a timeframe for the reporting and tendering for the cameras that showed installation could not happen this year.