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Christchurch: City crime camera network extended

City crime camera network extended

Canterbury, 10 April 2014 - Ten new crime cameras are about to come online in Christchurch suburbs, increasing safety and security for residents and people visiting the areas.

The new cameras, funded by Christchurch City Council and monitored by Police, have been installed in Riccarton, Upper Riccarton, Addington, Merivale and New Brighton.

The new installations add to the existing 58 crime cameras in the central city which are currently monitored by Police, bringing the total number of Crime Prevention Cameras in Christchurch to 68.

Inspector Peter Cooper says the extension of the crime camera network is a positive response to changes in the city since the 2010-11 earthquakes, and shows the commitment that Christchurch City Council have to partnering with Police to help make the city safer.

"Over the past three years patterns of night-time activity have shifted significantly from the central city to the suburbs," he says.

"We're now seeing a lot more hospitality and entertainment on a regular basis in suburban locations," he says. "Although activity is also returning to the central city, it's clear that many of the suburban entertainment precincts are now well established and will continue to be popular gathering places.

"Experience tells us that these areas are also potential crime locations, so it's a positive move to have extra eyes in some of the busy suburban locations."

Inspector Cooper says the new crime camera locations have been determined after detailed analysis of patterns of offending and Police calls for service.

The cameras are primarily used to monitor crime hotspots in real time, enabling Police to identify potential issues and despatch patrols to incidents before they escalate.

They have also proven valuable in investigations, giving investigators the ability to review footage to identify suspects or vehicles or watch unfolding events.

"We're confident that these new cameras will have a positive impact on our ability to respond rapidly to incidents and to gather information to help solve crimes.

"Our operators are trained to be able to identify potential flare-ups and areas where disorder looks likely to get out of hand. This means we can get patrols to these locations quickly, preventing crimes from occurring or becoming more serious.

"I have no doubt that in many cases the cameras, and our team of operators, have been instrumental in preventing serious assaults and disorder."

The cameras are monitored around the clock - by uniformed Police staff, and a rostered team of 40 volunteers.

The cameras have 360-degree pan capability, operated remotely from the monitoring room, and can operate in extremely low light.

Crime prevention camera signs have been put up in the general areas where the cameras will be located.

ENDS

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