March 19, 2020
Crooks can run but they won’t be able to hide in Wondai with the formal unveiling of the town’s new $217,600 CCTV surveillance system.
The 35 individual cameras which have been placed around the town supply 64 different image streams straight into the Wondai Police Station where they are recorded.
The cameras have been placed to monitor all the main streets, areas such as the sportsground and swimming pool, as well as the “back routes” out of town, ie. Wondai-Charlestown Road and Cherbourg Road.
Cr Ros Heit approached the Wondai Lions Club 2½ years ago to sponsor the project after local residents expressed fears to her about crime.
Lions Club president Fred Law said the club was happy to help.
As an incorporated association it could apply for funding for the project under the Federal Government’s “Safer Communities” funding scheme.
The club’s first application was unsuccessful, but persistence paid off and the funding came through in the next round.
Cr Heit said a small committee worked together on the project, including Lions’ members; Luke Radunz, from Wondai-based IT business Datawave; and Senior-Constable Susan Stevens, from Wondai Police.
“Having got the money, it was very important that we involved a local business,” Cr Heit said.
“And as a local business, Luke is available 24/7 if anything goes wrong.”
Snr Const Stevens made the decision where each camera should be placed.
Some of the CCTV cameras are hard-wired while others work on wi-fi.
Cr Heit said the main aim was prevent crime and identify offenders if something does happen.
“I wouldn’t say there was a massive spike in crime 2½ years ago. It is more about preventing crime and making people feel safe,” she said.
Wondai Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Brian Hodson said the “eyes of the town” were now on local criminals, especially drug dealers.
“Police know the hotspots. I am sure the cameras are pointed in that direction,” he said.
Work to install the network began in December 2019.
Luke Radunz said he wanted to give a special “thank you” to Ergon Energy which gave him access to its power poles to mount the cameras.
Datawave has a contract to service the system for the next three years.