Council’s covert operation to tackle illegal waste
COVERT cameras are the newest weapon being used by Coffs Harbour City Council to catch illegal waste dumpers.
But the suggested uses for the cameras are much broader and include active in-car video to help council officers record offences in real time while patrolling hot spots for various offences and personal body cameras worn by investigating council officers as a deterrent against intimidation and physical assault.
Tomorrow councillors will be asked to approve putting on public exhibition a draft policy for video surveillance of public and other spaces.
The council already uses overt CCTV video surveillance cameras as an asset protection measure to deter vandals, to provide security in public spaces and council car parks, and as an extra security measure for staff when dealing with aggressive customers.
The closed-circuit television cameras also are used as a tool to investigate offences.
Cameras hidden from sight with no warning signs are the next level in the fight against trash dumping and other civic misdemeanours.
The draft policy, which will go on show for 42 days for public submissions and comments if the councillors approve the move, provides for CCTV footage to be kept for a minimum of 21 days and then be recorded over, unless it is required as part of an investigation or a court case.
The draft policy says that hidden cameras in public places will be installed only after proper public consultation.
At the last meeting of the council on May 14, councillors declined to accept any of the tenders submitted for security and monitoring services for the council for the next two years in favour of inviting fresh tenders based on different details.
Also on tomorrow's agenda is the final report on the landscape corridors of the Coffs Harbour local government area.
The decision to hand over management of the Bunker Cartoon Gallery to the volunteer group Bunker Cartoon Gallery Inc for the next two years will be made by councillors tomorrow.
The move also includes handing ownership of the gallery's extensive cartoon collection back to the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City.
A review of the local growth management strategy is among other items on the agenda.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at 5pm.