Most readers will have seen the Leader’s articles on council’s steadfast refusal to implement CCTV cameras in Bentleigh and how this has been contrasted to the actions of Kingston. (see: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/glen-eira-council-wont-take-cash-for-cameras-despite-residents-support/story-fni0fit3-1226680390247

AND

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/south-east/glen-eira-council-says-position-unchanged-on-bentleigh-cctv-cameras-for-two-years/story-fngnvmhm-1226681231971

Several things need to be pointed out:

  • As with the alcohol free zone in Bentleigh, this is another instance of repeated buck passing.
  • The looking of a gift horse in the mouth is unconscionable where public safety is concerned. This council repeatedly complains that it receives less in government grants than other councils. Yet, when $155,000 is handed to them on a platter, the money is refused.
  • The issue of CCTV cameras has now been dragging on for years.

There’s a wonderful irony that next Tuesday the Municipal Health & Well Being plan is up for ratification. Here are some quotes from this very policy which should be read in conjunction with this refusal to enact what countless other councils and government regard as ‘safety initiatives’

 “Community safety

During consultations it was identified that feeling safe to go out at night would lead to more opportunities for physical activity and social activities which were both key priority areas for health.”

We are fortunate that Glen Eira residents enjoy a health status above the state average. However risk factors for our community are expected to increase with population ageing. The provision of information, services and programs and the continued provision of a safe environment enables residents to make healthy lifestyle decisions ensuring a healthy future for Glen Eira.

Council will focus activity on improving social, physical and economic environments”.

Then there are the following 2 quotes:

“A safe environment where people can live work or play has a direct impact on the community’s physical, social and emotional wellbeing (Better Health Channel, 2013).

Promoting safety and safe practices within the community can contribute to increasing the confidence of residents about safety (Victoria Police, 2013).”

And how will Council ensure that these ‘vision statements’ are fulfilled? With their usual nonsense objectives and indicators!

Objective: “Promote and implement a range of community safety information and programs during community safety month.

Measures: “Three community safety initiatives held during Community Safety Month.”

Finally, there is another issue of governance. On the 14th August 2012, the following resolution was passed –

Cr Magee/Forge

a. That Council notes the report;

b. That Council writes to the Chief Commissioner of Police requesting the

Police review their decision not to monitor CCTV in Bentleigh

c. That a report come back to Council at the next Ordinary Council Meeting

after the response is received.

The MOTION was put and CARRIED. 

To the best of our knowledge no such report has surfaced. We also find it difficult to believe that there has not been anything coming back to council, especially since the Records of Assembly report that Hyams spoke with the Minister.

We can even go back to the 18th March 2008 when graffiti and the call for CCTV cameras in Elsternwick hit the news. The final sentence in this news report read: “Glen Eira spokesman Paul Burke said the council used CCTV cameras at problem hot spots, with the next area for focus to be the public toilets in Bentleigh.”

We do not know whether CCTV cameras are installed at the toilets. If they are, then clearly it is possible to do what is required in the interests of public safety. If they aren’t installed, then once again this council is full of promises, hot air, and no action!

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