Police Association joins calls for CCTV at Byron Bay

TROUBLE HOTSPOT: Police during Byron Bay New Year’s Eve celebrations. Alcohol-fuelled violence is a problem in the area.
TROUBLE HOTSPOT: Police during Byron Bay New Year’s Eve celebrations. Alcohol-fuelled violence is a problem in the area. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

THE Police Association of NSW has joined the chorus of calls for closed circuit television cameras to be installed at Byron Bay.

Tweed Byron Police Association of NSW branch administrator Troy Hamilton said the association believed the alcohol-fuelled violence in the town would be best addressed by a multi-faceted approach, including CCTV.

"Having monitored CCTV and increasing police staffing, combined with Liquor Accord arrangements, which have been brought in on a trial, will help prevent instances of alcohol-fuelled violence," he said.

"CCTV is an essential investigative and proactive tool, if it's a monitored CCTV option, given the level of violence that we have experienced in the town."

Tweed Byron Police commander Superintendent Stuart Wilkins previously called for CCTV to be installed to assist with investigations and Mr Hamilton said the police association backed that stance.

Mr Hamilton said having monitored CCTV would enable a rapid police response.

"It brings a great capacity to respond proactively and resolve situations, or deter violence before it happens."

New Liquor Accord regulations - including a 1.30am lockout and banning the sale of shots, jugs or doubles - were introduced in March.

With a proven history of alcohol-fuelled violence and large numbers of tourists, Mr Hamilton said CCTV would make the streets safer.

"Last year Byron Bay had 1.4 million tourists visit throughout the year, and that brings with it an amount of risk in terms of crime and associated incidents," he said.

"Whilst the new liquor accord regulations seem to be having a positive effect, that is yet to be tested throughout the busy summer period."

If CCTV was installed, Mr Hamilton said, the police association would like the surveillance to include Jonson St, Lawson St, Apex and Railway parks and Main Beach car park.

Topics:  cctv police association of nsw

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