Treasurer and Cook MP Scott Morrison (centre), mayor Carmelo Pesce (left) and Julian Griffiths, NSW Police, test drive the CCTV trailer at Dunningham Park, North Cronulla

SUTHERLAND Shire Council has invested in a new mobile CCTV trailer that will be used year-round in Sutherland Shire to provide greater safety and security at community events, as well as to target crime hot spots.

The solar powered CCTV trailer sets up in 10 minutes and can be operated locally or remotely and was funded with a grant of $A138,516 from the Federal Government’s Safer Communities Fund. It incorporates fixed and PTZ cameras and delivers high resolution real time video streams to the control centre at Cronulla Police Station.

Sutherland police local area commander Julian Griffiths said hired CCTV trailers had proved invaluable in the past.

“When I first arrived at Sutherland, you couldn’t see what was happening at the events,” he said. “You had to rely on information coming back. Having real-time imagery to see how crowds are gathering and potential escalation of issues, so you can put [police] in the right spots its invaluable. CCTV, compared with relying on verbal information, is oranges and apples.”

Cook MP Scott Morrison said during a recent demonstration of the CCTV trailer at Cronulla that the unit was “an important tool for managing situations and proactive policing”.

“When you have great technology like this, you don’t need fixed installations everywhere,” Morrison said. “Today, this sort of stuff is not nice to have, it’s need to have. It should be standard issue, really, and that’s why the program we have had in place for some years is designed to fill that gap.”

Meanwhile Sutherland Shire Mayor Cr Carmelo Pesce said the council had hired CCTV trailers for Australia Day celebrations at Cronulla and Illawong for the last 4 years. However, following events overseas, he said there was greater demand for hired units, so it was important the council had its own.

“We will use it as often as we can,” Cr Pesce said. “For community events, it gives us an idea of what is happening with traffic management, pedestrian control and weather conditions. Because it can be towed anywhere quickly, it can also be used for crime hot spots, such as locations where drug deals are done.”