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More security cameras, staff for city safety

More security cameras, staff for central city safety

The Christchurch City Council will spend nearly $1 million to triple the number of crime prevention cameras in the Central Business District.

The Council will also fund the Safe City Officer programme at $450,000 a year to help reduce actual crime in the Central City after dark, and to improve perceptions of crime and safety in the city.

The funding was allocated at a special meeting of the Council today to adopt the Draft Annual Plan 2008/09 and amendments to the Long Term Council Community Plan 2006-16 (LTCCP).

Mayor Bob Parker says the moves show that the Council is serious about Central city security

"Police have requested more support around crime prevention cameras in the central city. In keeping with our close cooperation initiative we have moved quickly to help. We support our Police, and we are very serious about central city security.

“We know our citizens want us to make Christchurch the safest City in New Zealand. That is exactly what we intend to do."

The Christchurch Police had requested the immediate installation of 25 cameras to add to the existing network of 14 cameras.

The cameras will be installed quickly by connecting to existing Christchurch City Network Limited (CCNL) infrastructure.

The cost of the additional cameras and the equipment needed to connect to the CCNL network, and a 10 year lease for the use of the network, totals $916,000.

Over the same 10 year period there will be a savings of $700,000 in line rentals for the existing 14 cameras by moving them from the Telecom network to the CCNL network. The savings will be used to fund the increase in maintenance costs resulting from the 25 extra cameras.

Working in partnership with local regulatory agencies, Safe City Officers will aim to prevent, detect and report on disorder, crime and property offences and will generally provide visitors, residents and local businesses with information when required.

Complimenting Safer Christchurch initiatives, in this case, the Community Violence Reduction Project, the uniformed Officers will provide a visual and physical presence after dark. In the summer months there will be four pairs on every night from 10pm until 5am. In the winter months, there will be three pairs on from 9pm until 4am Sunday through to Friday, with four pairs patrolling from 9pm until 5am on Saturday nights.

The Council is also investigating how it might support the Otautahi Angels initiative that proposes using volunteers to provide further inner city security.

Mr Parker said research had shown that cities with established safe city ambassador-type programmes scored more highly when rated on perceptions of safety after dark.

“Improving public perceptions of personal safety after dark has the potential to have a positive impact on Christchurch’s night-time economy and enhance the perception of safety the central city.

“The people of Christchurch have said through the LTCCP community outcomes that they want a safe city where they live free from crime, violence, abuse and injury . . . where we can all feel safe at home and in the community.

“With these and other initiatives, the Council is aiming to reduce crime so that central Christchurch is a safe and vibrant place to be, both in real and perceptual terms,” Mr Parker said.


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