Saturday, May 25, 2024

Horsham CCTV network 72% operational, says council CEO

Horsham Rural City Council Chief Executive Officer, Sunil Bhalla, has today revealed details of the city’s CCTV system, following questions regarding the network’s effectiveness.

Mr Bhalla said the city had an effective and extensive network of cameras, confirming that 72% were fully operational in the city’s central activity district.

He said a maintenance and repair schedule was also in place.

“We are committed to supporting not only the safety of our community and our visitors, but to the security of our local business owners,” Mr Bhalla said.

“We want our city centre to be a hub where people can gather together safely no matter what time of the day or night it is and go to community events and support local retail outlets.

“Our quality of life and the liveability of our community is part of what makes Horsham such a great place to be.”

The CEO’s statement followed questions from the community regarding the operational status of the camera network.

“I can assure residents the camera network does work in an effective lawful way and it has proven to be highly valuable when it comes to recent prosecutions,” Mr Bhalla said.

“Some of the cameras do require maintenance, and we are actively working on having them back operating at full capacity.”

He said Council was advocating for funding to install additional cameras in recreational areas across Horsham. 

“With the community’s support and in partnership with the Victorian Government and consultation with Victoria Police, we aim to improve public safety perceptions and address anti-social behaviour, criminal activity and vandalism or destruction of Council and public property,” Mr Bhalla said.

Horsham Police Senior Sergeant Matt Haughton says the current CCTV network had proven valuable.

“The CCTV in the Horsham CBD is an effective tool in increasing public safety in the area. The mere presence of the cameras can deter potential offenders from committing crimes in the first instance,” he said.  

“If incidents do occur, they can be used by police to monitor the incident as it unfolds and follow up to clarify exactly what happened.

“The footage from the cameras form an important and impartial piece of evidence when they are used during police investigations.”

The city’s monitoring and access to CCTV footage is controlled in accordance with HRCC’s Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) Policy and a Memorandum of Understanding between Council and Victoria Police.

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