Nfld. & Labrador

Hidden security cameras deterring crime in Clarenville

The Town of Clarenville recently expanded its surveillance camera coverage, and it has already caught some perpetrators in the act.
The Town of Clarenville says there has been less vandalism to town property since a hidden-camera operation was made public.

The Town of Clarenville says hidden security cameras seem to be deterring crime.

The town recently expanded its surveillance camera coverage, and it has already caught some perpetrators in the act.

Chief Administrator Bob Hiscock told CBC Radio's Central Morning Show there has been less vandalism of town property since the hidden camera operation was made public. 

Hiscock said cameras are located near town buildings, in parking lots and in places where people have been regularly dumping garbage.

He said they've already caught people breaking into and vandalizing an old water treatment plant. 

"There was a lot of damage done to the building — and it gave us concern. It's really a building that people shouldn't be in. We had it decommissioned, and we had it secured and locked up. The locks were forced open," he said.

"We have video of people actually breaking in, getting in, doing damage to the outside, breaking light fixtures and stuff like that. But all that has been sent to the RCMP and I know that they've been very good in following up on this, and they have identified the individuals and I think they've spoken to them."

We don't want to be in the business of punishing people.- Bob Hiscock

Hiscock said the town has purchased several more cameras, which has helped with a variety of problems they've been dealing with over the years. 

"One being people vandalizing our property, we have had a number over the years. We've also had vehicles vandalized. But we're also using them for illegal dumping," he said.

"We've noticed a lot of people are dumping illegally on the old railway bed, and in and around the gate to our waste facility site, so we have put the cameras there as well."

Hiscock said it's a sign of the times, with illegal dumping and vandalism seemingly on the rise.

"It's happening more often, and more frequent, and not just in Clarenville, but everywhere," said Hiscock. 

"Our biggest hope is that we can stop it before it gets too bad, and that's what we're trying to do. We don't want to be in the business of punishing people." 

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