Lord Mayor of Sydney slams state government over failure to fund CCTV

Sydney skyline watched by 39 CCTV cameras. Pic: Adam JWC/Wikimedia

Sydney skyline watched by 39 CCTV cameras. Pic: Adam JWC/Wikimedia

A disagreement over who should pay for new CCTV cameras has erupted in the Australian city of Sydney.

Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore has called for more surveillance to police the night-time economy in the city’s entertainment hotspots, resulting in ten cameras being added to the city’s existing 87-strong  surveillance network at a cost of AUD $350,000.

However, in a row that has been played out in one form or another in cities around the globe, Moore says the state government of New South Wales (NSW) is responsible for law and order and should have paid for the cameras, even though the cost has historically been picked up by the city.

“Due to an unwillingness by the State Government to provide proper funding, the City of Sydney has stepped in. Since 2004, the City has installed 39 new cameras, taking the total in the city to 97, and we have invested in a secure control room at Town Hall to provide around-the-clock monitoring,” the Lord Mayor said.

Clover Moore - Sydney Lord Mayor -  Eva Rinaldi - Wikimedia

Lord Mayor Clover Moore slammed state government over CCTV funding. Pic: Eva Rinaldi/Wikimedia

“The State Government is responsible for law and order and the tools Police need to do their job, including CCTV, but over the last 10 years the City has stepped in because no one else was funding them and it needed to be done,” she said.

“Our CCTV network is monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in our control room at Town Hall and we regularly provide video feeds to Police at any sign of trouble.

“We are committed to taking immediate action wherever we can, and we are increasing our cameras both as a deterrent and a crime-solving tool.

“We’ve also increased the number of alcohol-free zones in the city to help police manage public drinking, have a compliance hot team who make sure licensed premises are obeying their development conditions, started the roll out of bright new LED lights to increase lighting, and we’re bringing our Precinct Ambassador program back for the summer months.

“This expansion of our CCTV network will assist NSW Police in preventing, detecting and investigating crimes in some of our busiest late-night precincts.”

NSW police for their part have agreed to work with the city and other key agencies to develop a new, more coordinated approach to the use of CCTV in Sydney.

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