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Technology Upgrade On The Cards for Mount Isa’s CCTV Cameras

The new CCTV cameras that will be installed across Mount Isa in the next few months may be fewer in number, but existing cameras may end up having greater technological capabilities that will boost local police officers’ crime-fighting efforts and improve public safety.


Council met with Mount Isa Police officers last week to discuss the upcoming additional cameras, such as where they’ll be placed across the city.


Council Director of Engineering Emilio Cianetti says investigating the option of upgrading some of the city’s existing CCTV technology to include different types of image recognition – such as facial, number plates, clothing colour or vehicle characteristics – was discussed at the meeting.


“We discussed possibly relocating some of the existing cameras and replacing them with more suitable cameras for the purpose of that location,” Mr Cianetti said.


“We discussed that some camera types would be upgraded to provide steady, around-the-clock streaming, with a camera dedicated for each direction surveyed by the original, rather than the one camera switching to different views every few seconds.


“We also discussed the recent trial where Mount Isa, because of the close working relationship between Police and Council, was selected for a state-wide trial where live-streaming cameras in the field were able to provide up-to-date intel to police officers as they responded to a call.


“The trial proved successful and was well supported by all stakeholders.”


The project to install the new CCTV cameras will cost $326,300 and is fully funded by the Federal Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.


The final placement of the cameras has yet to be determined.


Mount Isa Police Community Connect Project Manager Sergeant Chris Mitchell says the upgrade of the cameras and the implementation of number-plate or facial recognition technology across the city would greatly benefit local law-enforcement and criminal-investigation efforts.


“Especially with number-plate recognition, that will assist Police with potential movements of, for example, missing persons or offenders,” Sergeant Mitchell said.


“We can also track offenders’ vehicles, and/or stolen vehicles.


“The software upgrade will also assist Council, especially in terms of doing vehicle counts on roads, looking at pedestrian numbers and traffic flows around certain areas of the city, and whether there are any community safety issues around traffic management that are identified as a result.


“The advancement in that type of technology, and having that installed in the system, will be invaluable to Council and Police.


“CCTV technology definitely gets used on a daily basis by Police as an investigative tool.


“I think the partnership Mount Isa Police and Mount Isa City Council is forging a benchmark with regional areas within Queensland.”


Sergeant Mitchell said Police had also ordered two remote deployable CCTV cameras that run off the 4G mobile phone network and can be placed anywhere in the city – for instance, affixed to a light pole – and be part of the existing CCTV network.


“They can be deployed anywhere within a 4G signal range. We’ll be able to use them at Buchanan Park, for instance, for sporting and community events,” Sergeant Mitchell said.