“Nowhere to hide”: CCTV cameras come to Lygon St
New CCTV cameras will be installed along Lygon St as the City of Melbourne expands its safe city camera program.
The initiative was approved after the state government agreed to a 50-50 funding split with the council to roll out the new cameras at a cost of $520,000.
The cameras will be installed between Victoria St and Elgin St, as well as at Argyle Square, while ensuring individuals’ privacy rights are protected.
Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said the measure would aim to improve safety.
“We have zero tolerance for bad behaviour and criminal activity in the City of Melbourne,” he said.
With these new cameras our message is clear: if you are up to no good then you have nowhere to hide and you will be caught.
Cr Reece said in a recent case, CCTV cameras had captured images of a group of young offenders walking through the city after they had defaced and damaged property.
“Using the safe city camera network and working with Victoria Police we were able to catch the perpetrators before they had even left the city,” he said.
Carlton Inc. Traders’ Association president Sergio Alderuccio, whose organisation has long advocated to have CCTV cameras installed in the area, said the announcement would contribute to a safer environment and maintain the reputation of Lygon St as a popular destination.
“It will certainly help Victoria Police by giving them the footage to help find perpetrators and detect offences as well as give confidence to traders,” he said.
“Together with a visual police presence, which has increased, CCTV cameras will have an impact.”
The Carlton Residents Association (CRA) welcomed the measure, saying there was “continued concern” regarding hooning in the area, especially in Lygon St.
“The hope is that these cameras might be of some assistance in this ongoing battle,” the CRA said.
The group also understood that the positioning of the cameras was yet to be finalised and an “invitation to traders and residents to be involved in discussions would provide a valued local perspective”.
“Compiling a list of CCTV cameras in the community for use by police in crime detection would seem a positive move.”
Councillors unanimously approved the expansion of the safe city camera program to include Lygon St at their October 3 Future Melbourne Committee meeting.
It is the first time the CCTV network has expanded out of the central city and Docklands into suburban strips.
According to a council report, safety had been identified as a top priority by the Carlton community including the Carlton Residents’ Association “with specific concerns being raised around Lygon St”.
Last year, the Carlton community called for “immediate action” on crime after concerns were raised of anti-social behaviour and violence in the area, including two stabbing incidents, which saw police respond by ramping up their patrols.
In May, the council resolved to maintain a policy of not funding capital expenditure to expand the camera program through council funds, but to seek state government funding, “with any exception to this policy to be determined by the council in open session”. •
Caption: Neighbourhood Policing Coordinator for Carlton Nick Parissis and Carlton Inc. president Sergio Alderuccio.