CCTV installation on Fitzroy Street

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CCTV cameras are breing installed in Fitzroy Street, with the system expected to be switched on in November for a two-year trial.

The seven zoom cameras, to be installed between the Upper Esplanade and Grey Street/Canterbury Road, are jointly funded by the Victorian Government’s Community Crime Prevention program and Port Phillip Council.

The locations were chosen by Victoria Police and Council’s CCTV consultant. As announced last year, Council will undertake a trial to assess the effectiveness of CCTV at the popular St Kilda precinct. Improved community perceptions of safety and crime prevention will be among the factors evaluated.

Mayor Bernadene Voss said the footage will be recorded, automatically downloaded and stored at the St Kilda Police Station and access to the images governed by a Code of Practice. If there are no crime related requests to view the footage, it will be destroyed after 31 days.

Police are not obliged to continually monitor the CCTV system. Council ran a competitive tender to supply, install and maintain the cameras for the trial, which was recently awarded to Dycom Security Solutions Pty Ltd. “While we are looking forward to the trial helping to establish whether CCTV is a useful tool in Fitzroy Street, the cameras are just one component of a suite of actions being undertaken by Council to support the street,” Cr Voss said.

Council’s continuing village activation efforts include fine-tuning a $1 million Council funded streetscape upgrade, completed late last year, for which the Department of Justice provided $250,000 for extra lighting, and ensuring venues in the entertainment precinct are well represented in this month’s Live N Local free music program in which more than 50 artists will perform in 40 Port Phillip venues, she said.

The Fitzroy Street Business Association, supported by Council, has been gathering suggestions about the sorts of shops and services locals would like to see on Fitzroy Street. This partnership approach has also involved auditing vacant shops on Fitzroy Street.

The next step is to work with property owners and real estate agents to share the feedback from the community and discuss how to shape a retail mix that locals, and visitors, love.

“Fitzroy Street already has much to offer visitors as an entertainment and dining attraction. Council is keen to continue working with traders to ensure we look at all options to enhance the vibrancy and safety of this unique destination.”

The project costs about $402,000, with $246,250 provided by the Victorian Government and Council contributing $156,406.

Councilors will consider the evaluation findings before deciding the future of the initiative. The camera sites were selected after factors, such as the best view of the street, were considered.

Council has previously used CCTVs in a limited capacity at its own facilities, such as town halls. Licensed premises in Fitzroy Street have already installed their own CCTV systems. More information about CCTV on Fitzroy Street, including the Code of Practice, can be found at: http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/cctvfitzroystreet.htm

 

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