FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has urged local governments, PCYCs and community groups in the New England Electorate to consider applying for assistance under Round 2 of the Safer Streets Programme which will close for applications at 2pm AEDT on 17 February 2016.
Mr Joyce said the Safer Streets Programme implements the Government's $50 million commitment to deliver effective solutions to local areas experiencing problems with criminal or anti-social behaviour through a grants programme focused on improving community safety through crime prevention.
“This Programme will deliver local initiatives in areas identified as having a crime or anti-social behaviour problem, to prevent, deter and detect crime,” Mr Joyce said.
During the 2013 Federal election campaign Mr Joyce pledged an extra $200,000 under the Programme to a previous commitment of $300,000 to double the number of CCTV cameras in Tamworth’s central business district.
He said the project included the expansion of the fibre optics cable network, the installation of at least eight additional cameras in new locations in the CBD including the Peel River Bridge and footbridge and the purchase of mobile cameras to target short-term or emerging crime trouble spots.
The mobile CCTV cameras have proven a vital asset to the Tamworth Regional Council and police in the Oxley Local Area Command in apprehending and charging people for a wide range of crimes - from graffiti, vandalism of sporting grounds and the apprehension of an alleged sexual predator in the Central Business District last year.
“We are all disgusted when someone in our city feels threatened. When someone walking home, doing no more than they are entitled to do is assaulted and their lives are changed forever,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Federal Government grant of $500,000 has funded 16 fixed cameras and the infrastructure they need to operate. It was also used to pay for three of the four mobile camera units the Tamworth Regional Council uses.
“In each mobile camera unit there are two cameras and the evidence collected from these units has helped police to solve a significant number of crimes.
“For example, in lesser crimes such as hooning, popular spots in the city are no longer used by miscreants because they know there is a chance mobile camera units will result in visits from the Police and prosecution. These cameras can read a car number plate at 100 metres in dark conditions.
“Now it’s a case of making sure we continue to roll out these CCTV cameras and other local initiatives aimed at deterring criminal or anti-social behaviour across the New England Electorate,” Mr Joyce said.
The Safer Streets Programme is being conducted as a crime prevention measure under section 298 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) and the second round, announced by the Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, MP, will provide up to $29.4 million for projects that address the objectives of the Programme.
An application form for Round 2 of the Safer Streets Programme can be found at: https://forms.business.gov.au/smartforms/landing.htm?formCode=SST02S1