Relying on cameras to stop vandals
AUTHORITIES are hoping the installation of video surveillance cameras in Murwillumbah this year will reduce the incidence of arson attacks and%other acts of vandalism and violence in the town. Chamber of Commerce president Phil Youngblutt and local MP Thomas George say the cameras should prove a key deterrent in the fight against crime, particularly in relation to a worrying increase in deliberately lit fires. But both men say the real answer to the growing crime problem is a 24-hour police presence in the town. "Most of these incidents occur at nights when the police station is closed and the perpetrators are aware that police have to travel from Tweed Heads to respond," Mr Yougblutt said yesterday. Mr George said people needed to contact him whenever they felt the police response was inadequate to give him ammunition to put pressure on the Iemma government. He said he also planned to call a%public meeting in the town in February to get support for a push to keep the police station manned 24 hours. He said he was pleased the federal government now appeared ready to sign off on an $87,000 grant to install video cameras. Mr Yougblutt said it appeared that after months of delay and paperwork that the cameras could be installed early in the year. He said they would monitor known trouble spots in Main Street, Wollumbin Street and Proudfoots Lane. "Proudfoots Lane is a real concern because it's where a lot of bins have been ignited close to houses, and there is a real concern that one night the fire may spread to a home."