BYRON Shire Council will install video surveillance at multiple locations in the township of Byron Bay, with the installation to be completed by November 2015, in time for so-called Schoolies Week.

The system is being installed to help deter anti-social behaviour, reduce the fear of crime and improve public safety and the perception of safety in the area. It will be installed to cover the beach front public space of Apex Park, as well as parts of Jonson St between Apex Park and Marvel St. 

This 4-5 block stretch is the heart of Byron Bay’s entertainment precinct and is busy at Schoolies Week and during the more sedate celebrations associated with the huge Byron BluesFest, which draws 100,000 visitors to the town every Easter. 

In the original tender, Byron Shire Council pointed out that budget was limited and depending on the final price of the chosen system, Council may elect to only have part of the system installed. However, given price falls over the past couple of years Byron Shire Council probably got most, if not all, of the coverage it required. 

When the project was announced, Nationals candidate for Richmond, Matthew Fraser said $A200,000 in funding would come from the federal government's $A50 million Safer Communities Program to help make the streets of Byron Bay safer.

Fraser said CCTV cameras would be installed in hot spot areas, primarily along Jonson St.

"For a long time now the business groups, community groups and the residents have been pushing for CCTV in Byron Bay," he said. "The strategically placed cameras will act both as a deterrent and record illegal activity to assist the police in putting offenders before the courts."

Fraser said the cameras won't be continually monitored, but would record activity that could be accessed at a later date. Similar CCTV programs at Murwillumbah and Kingscliff had resulted in a reduction of crime on the streets.


Apex Park, Byron Bay

At the same time, Byron United president Paul Waters said CCTV cameras would help curb alcohol-fuelled violence in Byron.

"It is really good news for Byron Bay because it is a positive step towards our multi-pronged plan to make the streets safer," he said. "That includes CCTV, more visible and engaged police patrols, better lighting and better design concepts including an integrated transport hub."

Council will enter into a maintenance agreement with the successful tenderer to provide periodic maintenance services to the system for a period of three years with two extension options of 12 months each. The maintenance agreement will start on the date of practical completion of the system installation.♦