Town cries out for security camera to catch vandals

Urenui residents want a security camera installed in the central business district after a spike in "hooliganism".

Clifton Community Board chairman Ken Bedford said the residents wanted the New Plymouth District Council to set up a CCTV camera after an increase in petty crime.

Hooliganism and vandalism had become a problem for the town centre and residents near it were fed up, he said.

Over the past year there had been a break-in at the Four Square supermarket, bottles had been smashed around town and the children's playground had been damaged, Bedford said. "It has been escalating for some time.

"Cameras could be used to identify any of the culprits because even if people phoned the police when it is happening it can take quite a while for them to get to Urenui from New Plymouth."

Urenui Beach Camp owners had already installed cameras at the camp, and they had been quite effective, he said.

However, the district council turned down the residents' request and said it would cost $15,000 to $20,000 to buy and set up a camera in Urenui, and there would be ongoing operational costs.

The broadband connection alone was estimated to cost up to $400 per month.

Bedford said the Urenui residents were looking at the possibility of community fundraising to buy the CCTV camera.

Currently the council has 25 CCTV cameras in the New Plymouth CBD and five cameras in Waitara.

"It would be another tool to help keep the town safe," he said.

Taranaki Daily News