Closer focus on criminals

23:25, Jan 23 2013
John McHugh
Winton Community Board chair John McHugh stands before one of the town's recently upgraded security cameras.

Winton streets will be even better protected this year, with new security cameras operating in the town.

The cameras were given a $15,000 upgrade at the end of last year, after the old cameras got past their use-by date.

Winton Community Board chairman John McHugh said the old cameras had been in place for 10 years.

"In 2000 our main street upgrade included the installation of a $32,000 security system, which included cabling under the centre plots, so this re-fit has been quite simple.

"The clarity on the old system was starting to show its age, while the new cameras and monitors are much clearer and brighter."

The new cameras also had a far greater recording capacity and were already paying their way by helping with two separate convictions for vandalism in the town, he said.

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"The community board believes it is money well spent as a way of protecting residents and the commercial area of the town."

Vandalism along the main street was a particular issue, he said.

"I don't think vandalism is any worse in Winton - it's just the way some people live. They seem to get their kicks by destroying people's property. We do our best to keep the town in pristine condition and this is what happens.

"It's disappointing that acts of stupidity occur thanks to a small minority people.

"However, with the increased surveillance we're hopeful we can catch some of these culprits."

The on-going destruction of young tree plantings along the main street was of particularly concern, he said.

The system also has the capacity for additional cameras to be added when required in the future.

The Southland Times