22 February 2018

Schools may get CCTV cameras in trial to combat vandalism

| Ian Bushnell
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Schools will soon have security CCTV cameras installed as a trial to combat vandalism.

Some ACT public schools may have CCTV installed and operated by ACT Policing as part of a trial to see whether it will deter vandalism and damage to property.

The ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Association, which supports the move, said it was approached late last year by several school P&Cs asking for a trial of the technology, as an alternative to fencing, or as an additional security measure.

It took the requests to the Education Directorate which was now considering a small trial of portable CCTV, installed and operated by ACT Policing.

The trial would involve the after-hours monitoring of school grounds but a Council spokesperson could not say what those hours would be or which schools had requested the trial.

The spokesperson said some schools were still experiencing high levels of vandalism despite the fencing program having had an impact on the overall number of incidents.

“Council expects to continue to work with the Directorate, before the trial begins, on policies and procedures surrounding the trial, such as who has access to the footage and under what circumstances any footage can be accessed and used,” the Council said.

“We also expect that consultation about the details of a trial would take place in any school community before the installation of cameras.”

The spokesperson said planning was in its early stages and in the hands of the Directorate.

A Directorate spokesperson said there were a small number of schools that experienced vandalism and CCTV could assist in deterring and reducing such acts.

“The proposal is for the use of CCTV cameras outside of school hours only. Schools have alarm systems in place and this won’t change,” the spokesperson said.

“We have begun initial conversations with the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Association about this suggestion to explore the idea before determining next steps, if it is to proceed.”

The spokesperson said there was a whole of Government approach to procuring and maintaining CCTV hardware and if CCTV cameras were introduced at public schools management of the cameras would adhere to legislative requirements and the ACT Government Code of Practice for CCTV Systems 2009.

The CCTV footage would be available for ACT Policing to review in the event of vandalism occurring after hours.

Do you think installing CCTV cameras in schools would deter vandalism? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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