CCTV Camera systems have become an extremely valuable tool by which police are able to detect criminals and solve crime thus stopping further offences from occurring. I can think of many times where minor and major incidents have been solved by a simple image captured on a CCTV camera system.
One that comes to mind in the recent past is the case of 29 year old Melbourne woman Jill Meagher when she was attacked, raped and murdered on the streets of Melbourne in 2012.
Initially her case was treated as a missing person inquiry however upon investigation a full blown murder investigation was launched by Victorian police. All available CCTV footage in the area where she went missing was obtained and painstakingly examined and a breakthrough in the case came when Jill was seen walking past a shop window front with a male following close behind.
History will tell that 6 days later, Jill’s body was found dumped on the side of a road 50 km’s away. Police initially had no leads however the vital footage captured on a small $500 CCTV camera installed by a shop owner was the vital piece of evidence that allowed police to quickly identify the offender and prevent further offences from occurring.
In my time as Officer in Charge of the Cooroy Police station I have utilised CCTV footage from a number of the larger businesses of Cooroy to solve such crimes as Armed Robbery, Assault Occasioning Grievous Bodily Harm, Burglary and break and enter offences.
In the past CCTV systems where seen as expensive with only the larger businesses being able to afford them however as with most technology the costs have now dramatically decreased to the point where good quality stand-alone systems can be purchased and installed at minimal cost to better protect them from being victims of crime.
In another proactive approach at keeping Cooroy safe, The Cooroy Chamber of Commerce has initiated discussions with a CCTV Specialist who has provided advice and costings on what can be provided to small business owners and at what cost. The Chamber are also involved in discussions in regards applying to have a system installed at several points around town to monitor public space however at this stage Government grants etc are not available so these discussions have been placed on hold pending further advice.
Believe it or not, Cooroy has just under 200 businesses and shops within a compact Central Business District and Industrial Area. If we could get 5 to 10 percent of these shops to install their own CCTV Systems, which in many cases would be tax deductable, Cooroy would go a long way to better protecting itself from crime and going one step further once criminals became aware of this, deter those criminals from committing offences in Cooroy and simply go someplace else.
The Chamber of Commerce with the help of the Cooroy Police Volunteer in policing, Anne Winnings are asking for expressions of interest from member of the business community who would like further information in regards costings and types of systems available.
It is envisioned that if we received enough expressions of interest an information night will be organised. Of course this would all be obligation free and completely reliant upon the individual business needs.
We are seeking expressions of interest in this Cooroy CCTV initiative. Please contact the local Volunteer in Police, Anne Winning at Winning.Anne@police.qld.gov.au to register your interest. Expressions of interest can be forwarded to Anne up until 28 December 2015.
Please think carefully about this initiative as I am often asked by members of the community on how best to protect themselves from crime and how to best help police solve crime and I am in no doubt that this initiative will go a long way in further reducing crime in Cooroy.
Sgt Mal SCOTT