University of Otago CCTV won't be used for 'students being students'
The University of Otago has unveiled plans for high spec cameras in the student quarter.
The move, which the Otago University Students Association (OUSA) supported, would place 26 cameras in 18 locations.
They would be installed in popular student streets such as Castle, Dundas, Albany and Hyde streets.
Initially 37 cameras in 29 locations was proposed.
OUSA president Hugh Baird welcomed the move, after initial concerns over footage were allayed. OUSA supported having fewer cameras in more strategic spots.
Baird was confident the cameras would not be used in cases of "students being students". He cited the recent example of an initiation ceremony, which made national headlines.
Instead footage would be used to catch offenders involved in crimes as sexual assault, assault and burglary.
"Most of these crimes are happening against students, not by students."
Submissions from students prompted the university to revise the policy governing the use of CCTV, with most supporting the cameras.
Chief operating officer Stephen Willis said the university listened to all student feedback and worked with OUSA on the matter.
Many students supported the use of CCTV, but some "students still expressed concerns that there isn't enough evidence and that crime is already low".
"While crime is low, crime against students has been creeping up."
He reiterated the purpose of the cameras was not to monitor "normal student behaviour".