New cameras for CBD by Christmas

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 12/12/2012

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Palmerston North's central business district will have a new suite of CCTV cameras for Christmas to replace 7-year-old units.

The replacements will be paid for with a $73,056 grant from the Central Energy Trust.

An earlier cost estimate was $130,000, which failed to gain a place in the city council's annual plan this year.

Community development manager Cathy McCartney said while the technology was improving rapidly, prices were dropping just as fast.

There were also savings on the original $240,000 installation, because the cabling that was already in place could be retained.

"All the hardware is in place, so it's largely a matter of just clicking the new cameras on."

Three of the 12 cameras had already been replaced from the council's operation budget as they began to fail.

Servers, video recorders and controls would also be replaced as part of the upgrade.

Mrs McCartney said the CCTV project was a great example of a partnership between the trust, council, police and community groups to ensure public safety.

The trust's donation has helped free up $12,000 of council money to pay for Safe City Hosts to monitor the cameras at the police station.

Senior Sergeant Brett Calkin has welcomed both announcements.

"The cameras play a very important role in monitoring activity in The Square and assist police in the effective and efficient deployment of police resources," he said.

The New Year's Eve celebration in The Square was a good example of how police used the CCTV system to monitor crowd behaviour and use passive presence techniques to quell disorder, he said.

The scheme is supported by the Safety Advisory Board and Safe City Trust, and aligns with the council's safe-city strategy and the Main St Accord, which aims to reduce alcohol-related offending.

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- The Manawatu Standard

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