Tweed murder sparks CCTV camera bid
TWEED Shire Council wants the Federal Government to pay for CCTV cameras in Tweed Heads after a homeless man was savagely murdered at a popular park.
The council has requested funding on two occasions, but was denied.
The death of Andrew Whyte Murray at Jack Evans Boat Harbour in late November led to Queensland and NSW police asking the council for CCTV footage, which was not available.
Tweed Byron Police backed the latest application to install cameras in the park and at Bay St.
Councillor James Owen said Detective Chief Inspector Brendon Cullen was supportive “due to the high incidence of crime in the area in recent times”.
The council currently has three CCTV systems for crime prevention at Murwillumbah CBD, Kingscliff CBD and at Tweed Heads South Skate Park.
During a marathon council meeting at Tweed Heads on Thursday, Cr Owen moved that the council apply to the government for the purchase and installation of CCTV through the Safer Communities Fund.
Cr Owen said a letter of support had been received from police Superintendent Dave Roptell.
Supt Roptell stated “in recent years there has been three homicides in the vicinity” and the area was “well-known to police”.
A nine-month-old baby girl named Qwana was allegedly tossed into the Tweed River to drown at the park in 2018 and homeless man Hoani Shaune Love was murdered in 2014.
He was elbowed in the head outside Tweed Centro Shopping Centre, next to the park.
Supt Roptell said more CCTV in the Tweed would “greatly assist investigations”.
Cr Owen raised additional concerns about “anti-social behaviour, graffiti and vandalism”.
“There’s just been a fair bit of feedback from the community and I know there are concerns from the police about Jack Evans Boat Harbour and some of the issues of crime around there,” he said.
The Tweed Chamber of Commerce was also supportive, Cr Owen added.
Mayor Katie Milne said an application for CCTV funding was already underway and she questioned whether Cr Owen’s motion was necessary.
He replied he was unaware officers from the council had already applied.
Officers believe the motion would “add weight” to the application.
Councillors voted unanimously to apply for government funding.