Sue Curtis and Constable Cohen in the CCTV monitoring base at Dargaville Police Station

Plan to expand CCTV network

by Paul Campbell

Planning for Stage Two of the Dargaville Community CCTV Project with another series of camera installations is now underway with locations identified by New Zealand Police as being high risk and not already covered in Stage One of the project.

Appropriate funding is being sought, and the Dargaville Community Development Board is also requesting funds to link CCTV cameras, which have been separately installed on school grounds and at sports fields, into the infrastructure.

“The safety of our community members and visitors to Dargaville is of paramount importance and is the key reason that the DCDB has progressed the project forward in association with Dargaville Police,” said board chair, Allan Mortensen.

“Now that the project has begun we are seeing major benefits from it, and we need to keep it moving forward. Several other towns in Northland have CCTV cameras operating, and Dargaville does not want to be known as the soft-touch because we don’t have them.”

“The next step in the process is to create a Safer Dargaville Trust to apply for and administer funding, increase the number of cameras and locations both in Dargaville and, in the future, further afield. Part of this process is to have a Targeted Rate adopted by the KDC to fund the ongoing costs and maintenance, together with establishing a community patrol, visiting out of the way locations to discourage and report undesirable behaviour.

“There is a robust process in applying for a Targeted Rate, which the DCDB is working through with the KDC. This process could take up to two years, so the board is approaching local businesses for a monthly contribution to ensure that there is a fund to cover the ongoing costs and maintenance until the Targeted Rate is in place.”

The monitoring and recording devices are housed at the Dargaville Police Station. “For responding to crime in Dargaville, the cameras have been worth their weight in gold,” says Constable Reuben Cohen. “This increases our response times and allows us to identify offenders from the cameras, leading to a reduction of serious crime in the CBD. It is fair to say that our CBD is a safer place to be for our community.”