Big brother is watching

DO the wrong thing in downtown Murwillumbah and the chances are police will have a video record to help track you down.

A state-of-the-art closed circuit television (CCTV) security system is up and running in the town and has been checked out by the region's top police officer and leading businesspeople ahead of its official launch by federal MP Justine Elliot on Friday.

Tweed-Byron police commander Superintendent Michael Kenny said the high-definition system would be particularly helpful keeping an eye on unruly crowds and incidents of alcohol-fuelled violence.

“We will certainly see some benefit in investigations,” Supt. Kenny said. “We will be able to track the movements of people, particularly large crowds.

“Where there are concerns of alcohol-fuelled violence, we will be able to respond more quickly and be able to investigate after the fact.

“We are yet to determine the full benefits of this system but we are grateful to the council, the business community and for the grant (from the federal government). It's good to realise the project, which was first mooted at a community safety committee meeting about three years ago.

“Thanks to the Business Chamber, which took up the challenge of applying for the grant, we now have a state-of-the-art CCTV system.”

On Friday, Murwillumbah District Business Chamber board members checked out the huge new LCD screen inside Murwillumbah police station that will monitor the 29 cameras operating around the town.

Chamber president Toni Zuschke said the chamber's directors were impressed at how easy the system was to operate, with police able to monitor all 29 locations on the huge screen at once or zoom in on one location.

“And it's sensor-operated,” she said. “In the middle of the night, if there's nothing going on in a back lane, it won't record until something moves.”

The business chamber will hold a breakfast on Friday to officially launch the new $191,000 CCTV system at the Murwillumbah Services Club with federal MP for Richmond Justine Elliot, Ms Zuschke said.

“The purpose of the installation of CCTV cameras was to address petty criminal activity and vandalism, and significantly reduce instances of late-night vandalism and assaults,” she said.

Now that the CBD has surveillance installed the chamber was working on its next project, which is to decorate trees throughout the town centre with fairy lights, she said.

The chamber had spoken to a company, called MY-T-bright, which wants to use Murwillumbah to show how to light up a town using its products.

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