As Victoria Police scour different sources of CCTV vision for clues as to the whereabouts of missing Brunswick young woman Jill Meagher, the Greensparty contesting Melbourne City Council elections have decreed that CCTV is a waste of money and is better spent on “environmental design in public spaces.”
Jill Meagher’s disappearance has left Brunswick and much of inner-city Melbourne numb with shock and worry and sadness. Mostly our big city is safe. The idea that it might not be safe to walk home along one of the city’s busiest streets after a night out has filled the otherwise chilled-out People’s Republic of Brunswick with deep dread.
We don’t yet know what happened. We do know the Victoria Police are being meticulous and that the community reaction has been astounding. She’s been in the prayers and concerns of tens of thousands of people, from Brunswick to beyond.
And in these moments, we want the Police to have every possible tool to help make those prayers and hopes real. Many venues have CCTV. One of the bars Ms Meagher went to, had it. But the next one did not. There would be plenty of places along Sydney Road that do have it. As we write, Vic Pol have announced they have used CCTV to track Ms Meagher’s location on Sydney Road at 1.30AM.
Some municipalities have CCTV. The City of Melbourne is one of them, operating quite an extensive array of cameras, in conjunction with the Victoria Police. The cameras occur most frequently in the places you’d expect them to be, near nightclubs etc.
In the time where we can’t know with certainty what’s happened with Ms Meagher, we can know with certainty while safeguards are important CCTV is an important weapon in the fight on crime generally and in gathering evidence in horrendous cases like this.
The Greensparty’s release of a policy denouncing CCTV while Victoria Police are using it to desperately gather evidence to help bring Ms Meagher back shows the complete disconnect between their reckless, insensitive, half-considered ideological enthusiasms and the reality of life in the real world where we’re all very critical of Police until we need them and we need them they show up, big time.
It’s been fascinating listening to the ABC Jon Faine’s vigorous defence of Police in the last couple of days.
Diminishing the tools Police has to prevent crime and to bring the violent to justice has nothing to do with the cause of the environment, which is the cloak the Greensparty use to cover extreme-left policies of this kind.
We don’t need publicly-funded cameras everywhere but in places known for trouble, they are a good thing indeed. Arguing they are less effective than “environmental design” in stopping crime is plainly moronic and while the search goes on for Jill Meagher, aided by CCTV vision, deeply offensive.