1 year later, police say 12 eyes in the sky deter crime
RNC chief cites decrease in offences on George Street strip since installation of CCTV cameras
One year ago, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary began using cameras to keep an eye on the popular George Street bar district.
The dozen surveillance cameras were put there to deter crime, and for public safety.
RNC Chief Robert Johnson says it's working — crime is down.
In a 10-month period prior to the installation of the cameras, he says, there were 430 calls for service. That’s gone down to 377 over the corresponding time frame since — a reduction of 12 per cent.
"When we drilled down into those numbers, what I found interesting was that, in specific areas, we have seen a decrease," the chief said.
Johnston says there has been a drop in thefts, commercial alarms, property damage, liquor control violations and weapons offences.
The cameras are up and running all the time, but aren't always being actively monitored. But if a business or person makes a complaint, the police can go back to that day and time, and check the video.
The cameras cost taxpayers an initial outlay of about $250,000, plus another $49,000 a year in operating expenses.
When the system was put in a year ago, there were some questions raised about privacy concerns on George Street.
But Johnston says the only people who have to worry about the cameras are criminals.