Zooming in for a crime cam blitz
FROM the comfort of the Cooroy Hotel, the state-of-the-art Hikvision Darkfighter CCTVs pierce the darkness and zoom in past the railway bridge to people coming and going from a shopping centre.
A seated couple can be seen clearly through a shopfront, while fish and chip customers are going about their lawful business. And with a flick of the system, the number-plate recognition capability of the CCTV camera system displays the registrations of the traffic travelling along main street.
Down at the deserted skate park, cameras defeat shadows which are impenetrable to the naked eye and show a potential trouble spot is all but empty. What can be seen in startling clarity thanks to the zoom, is an empty bottle of drink, as another camera is set track a police officer walking along the footpath.
This is what the Cooroy Chamber of Commerce's determination and $200,000 of federal funding has brought to this town - world class surveillance to feed back to police.
And according to chamber president Danielle Taylor hopefully soon the Cooroy police will have the capability to monitor the town's bank of CCTV cameras from their mobile phones or iPads. She said that this new system was 10,000 times better than the original CCTV system first used by local police which meant they had to visit each camera to download footage.
The chamber laid on this compelling demonstration for its members, Mayor Tony Wellington and councillors Ingrid and Jess Glasgow of a security blanket paid for out of the confiscated proceeds of crime. The amazingly clear images, including thermal images not in black and white but living colour, back up claim's made at the "demo” that Cooroy is closed to crime.
Noosa Police Inspector John Lewis praised this chamber initiative which has seen Naskam Security roll out 23 CCTV cameras in Cooroy's CBD, along Maple St and the industrial park.
Insp Lewis said even in Cooroy crime happens and this camera footage can make all the difference when offenders try to deny they were at the scene of a crime.
The inspector cited the recent Mitre 10 incident where Cooroy police officer-in-charge Mal Scott - the man who has driven a crime crackdown through CCTV roll outs - was injured after disturbing robbers. Sergeant Scott was on leave and could not attend the chamber's unveiling, but is a prepared statement said: "This system will definitely be a deterrent to criminals and the footage has already assisted in the capture of criminals in Cooroy.”
Ms Taylor praised his efforts and that of local police volunteer Anne Winning for helping secure this technology. Naskam Security founder Maks Maksan said a lot of communities have an issue with security and are divided by the use of CCTV cameras.
"When you are outside in public, basically there is no privacy issue.
"Anybody can take a picture of anybody, so there's really not much privacy there. The issue is the footage that's recorded, who gets access to it.”
In this case the CCTVs are for police monitoring only.
- Peter Gardiner