CLOSED circuit television (CCTV) is an important investigative tool for police, according to Bathurst duty officer Inspector Colin Cracknell, who has joined the push for the city to use the technology.
His backing came after a spate of vandalism at shops in Bathurst’s CBD over the last few months which saw windows broken and doors smashed.
Originally based at Lithgow Police station, Insp. Cracknell has seen first-hand how beneficial the technology is after it was introduced in that city’s CBD.
Inspector Cracknell said installing CCTV in the Bathurst CBD was Bathurst Regional Council’s responsibility.
He said cameras should be located in William, George and Bentinck streets.
“CCTV footage is of an immense benefit to NSW Police provided the equipment is of a high standard and produces good quality images,” he said.
“Historically, we have made arrests from CCTV footage that we may not necessarily have been able to make, or make as quickly.
“It’s a wonderful investigative tool and it’s certainly a deterrent.”
Insp. Cracknell said while CCTV may not stop all offences, it would help police in subsequent investigations.
“It could certainly make the difference between a quick arrest and one happening later on,” he said.
Without the footage, he said police often have to wait for DNA or fingerprint evidence from a crime scene.
“We would support the whole notion of CCTV footage and it does have a deterrent effect,” he said.
Insp. Cracknell said CCTV footage could also be used if police officers have had accusations made against them.
“It’s a tool that can be used to confirm or refute allegations of police inaction or brutality,” he said.
Insp. Cracknell did say, however, that once criminals get used to CCTV cameras in the CBD they can tend to hide their faces.