SMASH'N'GRAB: Melinda Bingley has the support of the Beerwah Police to have security cameras installed at national parks.
SMASH'N'GRAB: Melinda Bingley has the support of the Beerwah Police to have security cameras installed at national parks.

Uphill battle for national park security cameras

BEERWAH police have thrown their support behind a Caloundra woman's campaign to have security cameras installed at Glass House Mountains national park car parks.

But they face an uphill battle as Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have already discounted the idea.

Melinda Bingley was one of the latest victims of a smash and grab while she was climbing Wild Horse Mountain with two friends late last month.

Ms Bingley didn't leave any valuables in the car, but the thieves still stole a big camper fridge with a full days worth of food and drinks for the three friends, a change of clothes and other items worth around $7000.

"I love the Sunshine Coast and I love the mountains and I want to keep encouraging people to get outdoors and feel safe. (But at the time) I felt violated, angry and frustrated and I don't want anyone else to feel this," she said.

The incident spurred Ms Bingley to create a change.org petition to call for the installation of cameras at these isolated car parks.

Should security cameras be installed in Glass House Mountains car parks?

This poll ended on 03 October 2016.

Current Results

Yes. It's the only way to deter thieves.

57%

No. People should not leave anything worth stealing in their cars.

15%

It's a good idea but who's going to pay for it?

26%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Beerwah Police Station acting senior sergeant Bob Martin said smash and grabs were a common occurrence at all national parks.

"We do get no-hopers who visit these areas who steal anything they can and because it is not a busy place and vehicles are left unattended, it is the perfect opportunity for crooks to steal," he said.

"This sort of activity does pick up over the school holidays as people slip into a mindset where they are in holiday mode and not as conscious as they should be when it comes to security, so we certainly increase our patrols."

Snr sgt Martin said police and national parks did have motion detector trail cameras they could place temporarily in hot spots, but permanent cameras would be "a great tool for detecting people committing these offences."

"There's a lot of people involved in installing cameras in a public place so there's a lot of boxes to be ticked for that to happen," he said.

"But it is something I would encourage."

A QPWS spokesperson said the department had no plans to install video monitoring devices.

"Such a proposal would be difficult to implement, with limited positive outcomes in return. These include significant cost to install and maintain, requirement for multiple cameras at many sites to adequately cover all car parks and entry/exit points, high risk of vandalism to cameras.

The spokesperson said upfront costs could be anywhere from $50,000 to $100,00, not accounting for providing power or a suitable solar battery set-up on each site and tamper proof poles.

"Security has been assessed in cooperation with the QPS and practical solutions implemented to date include placement of information signs warning visitors not to leave valuables in their cars, regular police and ranger patrols and removal of vegetation at key sites to improve visibility for police patrols and reduce hiding opportunities for potential thieves."

Report any suspicious activityto Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the local police.

To sign the petition, visit http://chn.ge/2cS8md5.



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