14 February 2003
Monash City Council has installed a security camera outside the entrance to the Clayton Public Library in response to community safety concerns about the area.
Chief Executive Officer, David Conran said today reports from the community and staff about inappropriate and threatening behaviour in the area had steadily grown in recent times.
"Library visitors, people using the public toilets and Council staff have all reported increases in the number of incidents occurring around the public toilets recently. Council felt the time has come to try to boost safety in this area by installing security cameras," Mr Conran.
" This is not a step we have taken lightly, nor is it a measure that we intend to extend to other parts of the municipality. But we felt that the problems that were being reported in this one particular location warranted this action," he said.
" We have passed on the reports of threatening behaviour and drug and alcohol use to the police and they have assured us that they will increase foot patrols in the area. These extra patrols, together with the round the clock surveillance, will hopefully greatly improve the sense of safety for everyone moving through this area.
" Council have informed the traders of our decision to install cameras and they have been strongly supportive."
Mr Conran said the installation of the security cameras would complement the activities of the Clayton Community Response Strategy, a community-wide response, co-ordinated by Council, to a range of drug issues and other high risk behaviours in the Clayton area.
The Strategy has been operating since late 2001 and has involved participants from local schools, church groups, service clubs, police, youth service providers, community groups, traders and residents.
" Council has given strong support to the Clayton Strategy including appointing a Community Development Worker focused on implementing Council's Alcohol and Drugs Action Plan.
"Council is also currently working with YSAS, a local drug and alcohol prevention and treatment service, to provide a street based outreach program for young people. This project is being funded by the Department of Human Services.
" We are dealing with entrenched risk-taking behaviours and it is clear that we have a long road ahead of us to turn those behaviours around. Consequently, Council will continue to seek funding from the State Government to assist the community to tackle these problems."