The Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation says giving police access to its surveillance cameras will make its buildings and townhouse complexes safer.

The police force also had security in mind when it first brought the idea to the social housing agency.

Tenant Michelle Brunet said she didn't even know there were security cameras watching her and her son stroll to the New Sudbury townhouse they call home.

security camera

About 300 cameras are used throughout the Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation's buildings. (Erik White/CBC)

But she said she's fine with it — and she doesn't mind if police watch the videos either.

"[It] doesn't bug me at all,” she said. “And I don't think it would bug most people, unless they're trying to hide something. So, I'm good with it."

'Proven to deter criminal activity'

Security cameras are relatively new to social housing buildings and townhouse developments in Greater Sudbury.

Housing Corporation general manager Mark Scarfone said the first cameras were installed six years ago — and now there are about 300. Police will now have remote access to those cameras that focus on common areas like parking lots, courtyards, laundry rooms and lobbies.

"We have to take every reasonable step to ensure that safety, and video surveillance has certainly been proven to deter criminal activity."

Scarfone said the housing corporation will be keeping the privacy of its tenants in mind over the next few months as it works out the fine details of sharing surveillance video with police.

"We have the information, so we have an obligation to keep that information safe and protected,” he said. “Certainly we're sensitive to the public's need for privacy and our tenants' need for privacy.”

He said he has heard nothing but positive feedback about the matter from tenants.