Time for CCTV action to deter local crime

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The fight for federal funding of permanent Closed Circuit Television cameras (CCTV) along Chapel St has stepped up a notch, with Member for Higgins, Kelly O`Dwyer MP, and Stonnington mayor Tim Smith directly appealing to Home Affairs Minister Brendan O`Connor for action.

Ms O`Dwyer and Cr Smith have both written to the Minister seeking support for CCTV funding in Chapel St, and will also seek a meeting with him in Canberra when Parliament sits this week.

Ms O`Dwyer said she would not give up until there were additional permanent CCTVs installed in Chapel St.

¨Everywhere I go around Stonnington, people want to talk about local crime and what we can do about it,¨ she said.

¨This is something that I have been fighting for since my election as the Member for Higgins, and something that Peter Costello fought hard for before that.

¨Chapel St is such a fantastic shopping, eating and night-time attraction for locals and visitors – we just want to make sure it stays that way.

¨Both Stonnington Council and the local police have put in a significant effort to ensure the safety of Chapel St and the broader community.

¨But there are still concerns and fixed cameras would be an important and relatively inexpensive aid to discourage crime and unsociable behaviour.

¨CCTVs help make people feel safer. They help police in the apprehension of criminals. And they act as a deterrent for criminal behaviour,¨ Ms O`Dwyer said.

She said the issue of CCTVs was certain to feature at her next Higgins Community Forum, to be held on Wednesday, 21 July from 6-9 pm at the Prahran RSL, which will have a focus on crime, safety and security issues. Special guest at the forum will be Inspector Adrian White, of Stonnington Police, who will be on hand along with Ms O`Dwyer, Cr Smith and State MPs Michael O`Brien and Andrea Coote to answer residents` questions and hear their concerns.