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Rakaia considers installing cameras

Rakaia considers installing cameras
Rakaia Community Association chairman Neil Pluck says the town and a much wider area, will benefit from installing CCTV cameras around Rakaia.

The Rakaia Community Association is considering keeping a closer eye on things.
It is looking at whether to install CCTV cameras around the town to help with crime prevention, chairman Neil Pluck said.
It has been discussed for a while now, he said, but at its recent meeting, the association had a presentation from Rakaia police constable Trevor Gurney, who had sourced a quote for $18,000 to purchase the cameras and place them strategically around the township.
The association has funded a community patrol car for 10 years which “has made a huge difference with vandalism and other goings on in the town”, Pluck said.
“We see the cameras as an extension of that in terms of a crime deterrent.”
Pluck said the idea is to have at least 10 cameras placed at the main exit and entry points of Rakaia as well as around the town centre, which all feed back to the police station.
It’s not for surveillance, he said, but if a crime occurs the cameras can be used to help track and identify offenders.
Due to Rakaia’s central location, sitting at the end of the bridge that is the main route across the Rakaia River, the cameras can pick up on the movements of any stolen vehicles passing through.
“There is a lot of rural theft going on and if they come through Rakaia these cameras will be able to see them.
“Everyone liked the idea of the town doing its bit for crime prevention for the South Island, given the town’s unique location to the State Highway 1 bridge.”
He said the committee and those in attendance at the meeting, which included Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown and councillor Lynette Lovett, were in favour of the project.
There are further discussions to be had with the community, Pluck said, but he has already had some positive feedback and even some people offering donations.
Pluck said police had been upfront from the start that they don’t contribute to the camera installation, and while they will benefit from the cameras for crime prevention it will in turn benefit the community.
“The cameras’ presence can also be a deterrent for stopping unlawful activity, so I support the association in promoting this initiative,” Brown said.
The cameras are a good thing for identifying people who want to do unlawful things, he said.

  • By Jonathan Leask