Vital ‘silent’ crime proof

Auburn Police Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Chris Laird says says police rely on CCTV footage on a daily basis to help identify offenders.

PUTTING crime under a spotlight, small businesses and community groups can now apply for up to $5,000 to install or upgrade CCTV.

Announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian earlier this year, the $5 million program aims to help more than 1,000 businesses and organisations across 10 local government areas, including Cumberland, upgrade their security.
Auburn Police Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Chris Laird, says as well deterring crime, CCTV footage is a valuable investigative tool for police.
“We rely on it on a daily basis,” he said.
“It’s definitely a deterrent; the installation of public CCTV has led to significant downtown of stealing from a person and robbery offences in Auburn and Lidcombe and other hot spots from 2007/08 to now.
“Cameras mean we’ve been able to identify suspects over a shorter period of time.
“Accessing both public CCTV systems and private CCTV has become part of our normal canvassing process.
“It’s very handy when it is available.”
He said the quality of images was increasing “every day”, and along with a range of facial recognition technology, was making it easier for police to investigate crimes and catch offenders.
“The cameras are an important silent witness to crime,” he said.
“Sometimes when people are victims of traumatic events they don’t have the same recall as they might otherwise.
“Having video reduces our reliance on vulnerable people who might not be able to remember important details because of the trauma of being robbed or attacked.”
Det Insp Laird added that CCTV footage can also catch out those who might falsely claim to have been a victim of crime.
Community and Small Business CCTV Fund applications will be assessed by the NSW Police Force and the Department of Justice and more information is available at