Pitch for more CCTV in Cairns
A CAIRNS academic will pitch his acclaimed research to the State Government to support the city's bid for more surveillance cameras and fewer alcohol-fuelled crimes.
James Cook University senior researcher Boris Pointing will meet Local Government Minister David Crisafulli to outline findings of his study into the effectiveness of CCTV cameras in Cairns, a network he believes sets a benchmark for regional cities throughout Australia.
His 22-day survey of incidents in the Cairns CBD, conducted in 2010 and 2011, showed the CCTV network helped authorities foil 40 per cent of late-night assaults, equating to 200 fewer incidents each year.
Mr Pointing, who works for JCU's Cairns Institute, said the security system's success was largely due to instinct and foresight of operators and their communication with security officers.
"There is underlying uncertainty about what makes CCTV work and we were focused on the human systems behind the technology," he said.
"The Cairns study has been really interesting as we looked at the individual camera operators and what catches their attention in the CBD and gets them to notify street security.
"Cairns has 90 cameras, including 73 in the CBD, but cameras alone are not the answer.
"If they're not operated properly from a human perspective, then you're not maximising their potential."
Cairns Regional Council has applied to the State Government for a grant worth more than $100,000 to expand its CCTV network and include wi-fi technology.
The new cameras would be installed on the fringes of the CBD where assaults, robberies and other disturbances have occurred.
The funding is awaiting approval but Mr Crisafulli in the past has hinted the grant would be rubber-stamped.
Mr Pointing said Cairns' security network had the potential to be replicated as a crime prevention tool by other cities in regional Australia.
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