22.1 C
Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Cameras don’t stop crime

Latest News

Power outage in Byron Shire

Power supply company Essential Energy says that approximately 1,780 homes and businesses were without supply this morning.

Other News

Lismore City Council declares housing emergency, wants more units

A Lismore City Council housing survey had shown more than 60 per cent of residents were living by themselves or with one other person, Cr Ekins said, prompting ‘a real need for smaller housing or units’.

Development of the Belongil Spit

Jo Faith, Newtown I was gobsmacked when I read that the ‘Greens’ mayor’s parting gift was to aid privatisation of land...

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.

Cocaine bust in Byron Shire, 7 men arrested

Police say two separate investigations into the ongoing supply of cocaine in the Byron Bay area have led to charges against seven men.

Flickerfest tour returns to the Northern Rivers

Celebrating 30 years in 2021 Flickerfest is bringing its National Tour to The Regent Cinema Murwillumbah for one big film packed this weekend

Cartoon of the week – 12 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters...

In last week’s Echonetdaily Eve Jeffery covered the topic of Cr Woods’s thankfully unsuccessful bid at Council’s meeting on 17 May to basically lock council into a position of support and, ultimately, responsibility for the costly installation and maintenance of CCTV cameras in Byron Bay. The story was appropriately headed ‘Tackling Byron’s alcohol-driven violent behaviour’.

In her report Eve quite correctly quoted the views of diverse sources such as Cr Woods, the police, the Liquor Accord (including owners of nightclubs and alcohol outlets), other councils and our mayor Jan Barham. Sadly missing out was the voice of the community.

I addressed Council on this issue during public access and would like to share some thoughts with other readers of Echonetdaily. But first let’s hear another community voice quoted from a recent letter to Echonetdaily by a concerned Myocum resident: ‘… Security cameras may capture the crime but they don’t save our young people from harm… to see young people queuing outside a venue with a large percentage already intoxicated…’

Are these venues allowing intoxicated persons and serving alcohol for a few extra bucks? Why are they still open after midnight? Let’s forget the security cameras – they won’t save our kids. Let’s get involved as a community.

Sixty-one words of reasons for her attempted motion were sufficient for Councillor Woods to support the installation of CCTV spy machines, to commit Council to acts of law enforcement and expenditure in excess of $200,000, to more or less exonerate members of Byron United from their liability in this whole sad affair and to qualify them as crime advisers. To top it all off, the councillor didn’t seem to have a problem with where the money was coming from despite council’s ‘belt-tightening budget’.

Some of my fundamental thoughts as expressed to councillors on this topic are:

–       Council is not a law-enforcement agency; one of Council’s major roles is to ensure the harmonious sharing of space by the whole community, residents and businesses alike.

–       CCTV cameras have one function and one function only: to assist in the identification of the culprits. Their installation will not prevent crimes or acts of violence; they will not reduce the severity or the number of acts of vandalism committed; they will merely assist police to identify, apprehend and bring to justice those committing punishable offences.

–       Alcohol and late-night entertainment venues are the major contributors to the street problems.

–       Entertainment venues and alcohol outlets are not only the major cause of our problems, they are also the major financial beneficiaries of the trade in alcohol.

–       The relentless tourism promotion of Byron benefits businesses, much less the community, and there is a clear distinction between those two groups – one existing to make a profit, often at the expense of others, the others being ordinary residents who live here and have a right to enjoy peace and amenity in their own town and also to be consulted when decisions are made that impact on their lives.

–       Earlier closing of venues, stricter control of the sale of alcohol and a better defined target audience for any promotional activities would go a long way towards solving our nightly problems without the need to resort to CCTV.

–       Entertainment venues should have their rates increased substantially to pay for some of the costs involved with Council activities funded by all ratepayers, such as cleaning the streets, public toilets etc.

There is a need for more substantial community consultation in our shire, so let’s fight for more involvement now, before any commitments or decisions are made by council.

Peter Wegner
Suffolk Park


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Cameras may not ‘stop crimes’ but they’re sure handy for identifying those thugs who are only interested in drunken mugging and running.

    But, then, Jan Barham seems to only be interested in something called ‘privacy’. Privacy for whom? The muggers?

    Sorry bad decision, Jan. We may regret that we have come to this, but the experience in England shows how essential CCTV cameras have become.

    No votes from me!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Filming of Byron Baes begins with no indigenous consultation

Filming of the Netflix series Byron Baes has reportedly commenced without any effort made by the show's production company – Eureka Productions – to consult with local indigenous groups or the local Council.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality. 

Diverse and resilient

Andrya Hart, The Channon After statements and actions by some Rous councillors, I am left wondering how many refusals to accept the democratic vote at their...