April 28, 2017
Murgon will be transformed into one of the most closely watched towns in Australia within two months when a 40-camera closed circuit TV system is set up to cover the CBD.
The $369,000 project is being funded by the Federal Government’s Safer Communities Fund which assists local communities address crime and anti-social behaviour. The fund supports crime prevention initiatives using money recovered from criminals.
The funding has been given to the Murgon Business and Development Association, fulfilling an election promise by Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien that he would help the group secure CCTV and better lighting for the town’s CBD area.
It is the largest funding commitment so far by the Safer Communities Fund.
Security consultant Douglas Grant, who will be installing the wireless system over a 7-8 week period, said the new cameras will be capable of scanning the licence plates of vehicles passing through Murgon.
The cameras will also be able to deliver crystal-clear images regardless of lighting conditions, and will have thermal imaging capabilities as well.
Videos shot by the cameras will be transmitted to Murgon Police Station but will also be capable of being transmitted to other locations too, such as smart phones and tablets.
Murgon police officers will be able to use CCTV footage as evidence of offences, and to help track down offenders.
On Thursday, Mr O’Brien met with representatives from the MBDA, the South Burnett Regional Council, Murgon Police, Murgon RSL, the Murgon Men’s Shed and other community groups at the town’s Visitor Information Centre to confirm the project will be going ahead.
“As a former police officer, I know that CCTV and security lighting has been a pivotal factor in both solving crimes and preventing crimes and anti-social behaviour,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The presence of CCTV cameras acts as a deterrent to those who are considering breaking the law. Potential offenders will think twice about possible criminal activity if their chances of being caught on camera are high.”
Mr O’Brien said the presence of CCTV cameras and better lighting also helped people feel safer and more secure in their neighbourhoods.
“Whether people are going about their business, shopping, out to dinner with friends or enjoying a night out, CCTV cameras provide an additional layer of security to help protect businesses, residents and their property,” he said.
Mr O’Brien stressed that Murgon had done “very well” out of the fund, and said there were few other towns that would have as extensive a system.
Officer-in-charge of Murgon Police, Senior Sergeant Lance Guteridge, praised the initiative, saying Queensland Police did not have the budget to bring a similar project to Murgon themselves.
He said the new cameras would be a valuable addition to – but not a replacement for – normal policing practices in the town.
Snr Sgt Guteridge said the aim of the system was not to intrude on the everyday lives of ordinary people going about their business but to deter offenders and allow better policing.
“Big Brother will only be interested in you if you’re doing something wrong,” he said.
Work on installing the CCTV system is expected to begin in 7-10 days when the Safer Communities Fund transfers money for the project to the MBDA’s bank account.