Council creating project plan for crime prevention, more CCTV cameras proposed

Moree Plains Shire Council are developing a project plan for crime prevention that will lead to extra CCTV cameras being placed in more areas around town.

At the council meeting on March 14, a number of local business owners expressed their concern with the amount of crime in town, particularly in South Moree.

Complaints of theft, graffiti, vandalism happening during both night and day have caused damages to property costing thousands of dollars.

Windows have been broken, cars stolen and unsavory behaviour from some of the town's youth has been putting people in danger.

Property Excellence director Dominique Hodgkinson spoke in the public forum about a number of issues she has had at their office and complaints from their tenants.

She said large groups of up to 30 children aged six and over have spat, kicked and thrown rocks at their windows, both at night and during the day when people are still in the office.

Property Excellence has received complaints from tenants having issues from Moree's youth on a near nightly basis, particularly on Anne Street.

Vandalism and graffiti in Moree have cost council around $20,000 to date.

Some of this anti-social behaviour has reportedly occurred during the day when visitors are stopping in Moree, and there are concerns this behaviour will have a negative impact on tourist economy in the area.

Tourism Moree CEO Tammy Lee Elbourne also expressed her concern about the spike in undesirable activity and behaviour around the Visitor Information Centre (VIC), with around 20 bins and 60 sprinklers destroyed.

A council proposal was put forward to install CCTV cameras around the VIC and Alice Street roundabout.

Councillor John Tramby was vocal against the proposal, questioning the effectiveness of CCTV cameras in regards to lowering crime rates, citing the large amounts of crime that are still present in areas where cameras have been installed.

Councillor Mike Montgomery instead put forward the proposal to develop a crime prevention plan.

Council passed a motion to develop a project plan for crime prevention, improve lighting in the proposed areas, make an application to an appropriate grant funding body to further develop the project and continue to liaise with local police on strategies to reduce and prevent crime.

From there, depending on funds, Council will look at installing CCTV in the affected areas to reduce risk of anti-social and dangerous behaviour.