Page 4445 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 14 October 2009

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MR HANSON: With regard to the CCTV monitoring of our entertainment areas, could you advise how many staff will be rostered to view the live vision from the cameras and how many cameras there will be monitoring during these periods?

MR CORBELL: There will be 71 cameras operational by the end of this month. The total number will be, if I recall correctly, approximately 80 cameras across those precincts. Funding is provided for three staff rostered on at any one time in the monitoring centre at Winchester. That is, of course, subject to some operational demands from ACT Policing. They will roster staff as they believe are needed to manage the monitoring task. Obviously some nights will be busier than others and they will move their staff flexibly as a result. But three staff is the level of funding that has been made available. Those staff will rotate through the monitoring centre and will perform other tasks on a rotating basis back in the communications centre, the call-taking centre for ACT Policing, as well. The operation of both those facilities is being done under the auspices of the officer responsible for the police communications room.

It is very important to stress, Mr Speaker, that what we will have in the monitoring room is the ability for the people monitoring the cameras to speak directly to police on the beat. Those personnel have radio communications patched directly into the beat patrols that are in place; for example, in Civic. They will be able to speak to police directly, directing them to where they see problems, and indeed assisting them with identifying people that they believe may have been involved in offences.

This is a great capacity for our police. It strengthens the ability of the patrols to do their work on the ground and it gives them the capacity to work hand in glove with the surveillance capacity and the coverage that we get from the expanded CCTV network.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Burch, a supplementary question?

MS BURCH: How will the police use this additional CCTV capacity to improve their capability?

MR CORBELL: As I have indicated, obviously police will be working hand in glove with the monitoring room and the ability that comes from accessing the radio communications that exists between those two centres. What is also very important is that police will be able to use this facility particularly at peak times and at busy periods. It will be an invaluable tool during New Year’s Eve celebrations, and during other celebrations in the city, and it will also be used for large events at Manuka Oval and Canberra Stadium. There is the ability now for both of those facilities to also be monitored from the Winchester Police Centre.

This will assist police who are maintaining public order and public safety at those events, and it really gives us extra police patrols on the ground. Police will be able to see what is going on in a much broader area. They will not just rely on their physical presence, as important and as vital as that is. They will also be able to rely on the camera network to expand that presence and to make sure that resources are directed to the most appropriate location to deal with problems.

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