Laura Norda is getting a run again in Albury with the council to decide in May whether or not to implement CCTV in the central business district. The problems with this plan include the cost, the council has budgeted $350,000 which will pay for six or seven cameras but won’t cover the cost of monitoring them, and the fact that they don’t actually seem to curb violence in other places that they have been installed.
This confirmed what they saw in central Sydney a few weeks ago — that cameras can be beneficial in reducing vandalism, identifying offenders and securing convictions. But they would not stop alcohol-fuelled violence.
Is this a surprise to anyone? Who would have thought that violent drunk people, already displaying the fact that they have lost the ability to act rationally or in a socially acceptable manner, don’t care if they are being filmed? This should make the decision pretty simple, if the cameras aren’t a deterrent then they’re not worth the cost.
If businesses are concerned about vandalism then the onus is on them to provide cameras to protect their property. These don’t have to be monitored in real time to be effective, which reduces the cost significantly.
It’s time for everyone to address the elephant in the corner of the room when it comes to alcohol and violence. When pubs open late people get drunk before they go out, drink to excess at the licensed venues and then beat the crap out of one another. If the pubs and clubs closed earlier people will still want four or five hours to ‘go out’ and so will drink less at home before going into town, meaning that at closing time people are less pissed and less inclined to violence. This is hardly rocket science, in fact it’s so obvious that even the experts agree.
If pubs and clubs closed earlier they wouldn’t be adversely affected, if anything they would probably increase their revenue per patron because they wouldn’t be three parts cut when they walked in the door. Hopefully the government’s $53M program will deal with this, because it takes some balls to stand up to the hotel lobby. That said, the right thing has been done on smoking in pubs it’s now time to address binge drinking and violence.