Crims warned they will be caught on CBD camera



VIDEO FOOTAGE from inside a Rockhampton nightclub helped prosecute a football player who assaulted a police officer.

The image, captured by a security camera at the Stadium Nightclub, Quay Street, shows the player during an earlier altercation with a patron.

For the first time, Rockhampton police are releasing images of convicted criminals caught on camera to send a clear message:

"Big Brother'' is watching anti-social behaviour in public more closely than ever before.

They have helped convict a murderer and prosecute a football player who assaulted police.

Security cameras in Rockhampton allow authorities to monitor anti-social behaviour in society more closely than ever before.

Now for the first time, Rockhampton police will release images of criminals caught on closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras to the public on a regular basis.

In partnership with the city council, they hope increased media coverage after a successful prosecution of offenders using CCTV evidence, will deter wouldbe offenders and send a clear message.

Until now, as Rockhampton City Council's administrative services manager Ewan Filmer explained, the council has had nothing official from the police service to measure the effectiveness of its substantial investment in the CCTV system.

But that is about to change.

Rockhampton's new Superintendent Trevor Wockner is planning to keep statistics on the effectiveness of the cameras ? something that hasn't been done before.

And with support from The Morning Bulletin, he plans to highlight just how valuable the CCTV system is.

Every time (CCTV) footage leads to a major prosecution and conviction, you will read about it and see the crucial images in The Bully.

Mr Filmer said the council was in the process of changing its memorandum of understanding with police to allow them total discretion as to how to best use the council's CCTV data.

"This includes the generation of publicity after a successful prosecution of offenders using CCTV evidence, canvassing the public for more information about persons of interest and promotion of the crime deterrent impact of the surveillance cameras,'' he said. Supt Wockner applauded the council for the work it had done.

"The cameras are there protecting the community and making the CBD area even safer,'' he said.

The council is looking at increasing the number of surveillance cameras across the city.

At present, there are six pan, tilt and zoom cameras and three fixed cameras at different locations throughout the CBD as well as two emergency "help points'' linked to police headquarters.

Last year two more cameras were installed at the Walter Reid Centre and about 15 cameras at Rockhampton Airport. A trial camera was installed at Rockhampton zoo.

The council has also approved plans for the installation of new cameras at the Fitzroy River barrage and reservoir on the Athelstane Range.

The soon-to-be-developed Rockhampton Riverbank project will also have security cameras, with up to 10 proposed for the northside and up to 20 on the south.

The council's Citisafe advisory committee chairman Cr Cherie Rutherford said there had been "a marked drop'' in crime in the CBD since cameras were introduced.

"Generally, if you go to do something wrong in the CBD, the cameras are watching,'' Cr Rutherford said.

"People do need to think twice about their behaviour.''

Residents are reminded that they are still "the eyes and ears'' of police, and the information they provide remains crucial despite the presence of cameras.

"Police are not super sleuths,'' Supt Wockner said. "Successful prosecutions generally only occur as a consequence of information provided from the community.

"With their continued support, we can make Rockhampton even safer. Ultimately it is up to us all to work together.



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