News

Lawyers and Coalition at odds on CCTV cameras

Law experts are questioning the value of a Coalition pledge to spend $50 million on CCTV coverage if elected.
Law experts are questioning the value of a Coalition pledge to spend $50 million on CCTV coverage if elected. Karleila Thomsen

A LEADING lawyer's group has cautioned against a Coalition promise to spend millions on close surveillance if elected to government in 2013.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance says that the pledge to spend $50 million for additional CCTV cameras around Australia to monitor people's movements does not take account of privacy concerns and potential misuse of cameras to profile groups and individuals.

Opposition frontbencher and Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, this week outlined a scheme where North Coast communities will be able to apply for crime prevention infrastructure such as better lighting, as well as fixed and mobile CCTV coverage.

He said the money would help tackle crime hotspots and help deal with the problems of gangs, graffiti and alcohol-fuelled violence.

But ALA spokesman and criminal barrister, Greg Barns, said the plan to monitor people's lives came at a cost to civil liberties and created the potential for human rights violations.

"The cameras were likely to be misused with innocent people and community groups likely to be unlawfully surveilled, on occasions, breaching privacy rights," he said.

"A line definitely needs to be drawn in the sand as to where these cameras are installed and public accountability for authorities accessing footage without due cause.

"Such 'reason for access' provisions had been introduced into state-based police forces to ensure police officers did not abuse their abilities to surveil and this should also be standard practice with any footage viewed."

The Coalition plainly disagrees.

"The best way to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour is to prevent it happening," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"The prevention of crime means less senseless deaths and needless injuries and it means reduced costs in the justice system."



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Page electorate: Meet the Candidates

Anna Ludvik, Animal Justice Party candidate for Page.

Federal election next Saturday, meet the candidates

WATCH: Oakeshott talks priorities for Cowper

Rob Oakeshott is running as an Independent in the federal seat of Cowper.

Independent candidate for seat of Cowper talks about his priorities

Mayor says sorry for CBD congestion

Coffs Harbour City Council Mayor, Cr Denise Knight, has said sorry for the congestion caused by the Gordon St/ Harbour Dr intersection works earlier today.

Mayor says sorry for CBD congestion

Latest deals and offers

Oakeshott talks election priorities for Cowper

Youth employment, Coffs Harbour bypass, education among Oakeshott's commitments for...

Group 2 - Panthers v Rebels

The South Grafton Rebels celebrate scoring a second half try against Sawtell Panthers. Group 2 rugby league 26 June 2016 Rex Hardaker Oval. Photo: Brad Greenshields/Coffs Coast Advocate

South Grafton Rebels captain Grant Stevens was pleased with his team's 36-26 win...

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Prominent Coffs Harbour beach resort listed for sale

The Aanuka Beach Resort has been listed for sale

Aanuka Beach Resort, without its accommodation component, up for sale

Local rent labelled too costly

UNAFFORDABLE: Coffs Harbour’s rentals are too costly according to the latest Rental Affordability Index.

Local rental prices too costly, index says