Council plans for security upgrade in Claremont streets

Jon BassettThe West Australian
CCTV has operated since 1997 in Claremont.
Camera IconCCTV has operated since 1997 in Claremont. Credit: Picture: Jon Bassett

Security cameras installed following the disappearance of three women in Claremont in the late 90s look like being replaced with the latest technology.

The Town of Claremont is investigating installing high- definition CCTV cameras — which will enable better facial and vehicle licence plate recognition — on its bar and nightclub strip and nearby Stirling Highway.

The current security cameras were installed in 1997.

“It is a move that will make Claremont even safer, after recent surveys showed it is regarded by women as one of the safest shopping centres in Perth,” Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said.

The upgrade is intended to help with identification related to crime and deter antisocial behaviour.

Recent crimes have included a 19-year-old man kicked in the head outside a kebab shop and a 22-year-old punched in an argument that spilled from Club Bayview on St Quentin Avenue, both in August.

A 14-year-old was robbed by youths at Claremont train station on June 28.

Senior Sergeant Peter Gilmour supported the push for the high-definition cameras but did not believe the current system was inadequate.

“It does not matter how good the technology is because the camera has to be pointing in the right direction when an incident occurs,” he said.

Business operators and shop owners said there was more the Town could do attract people to Claremont, particularly after the verdict in the Claremont killings case.

Alicia Lowe
Camera IconAlicia Lowe Credit: Picture: Jon Bassett

“It needs more activation, with maybe night markets, and the landlords need to make it easier for businesses, like not charging full rents for pop-ups,” High Noon cafe co-operator Alicia Lowe said.

Parker & Co. owner Vic Tana wanted St Quentin Avenue made into a piazza that could hold events, and Advantage Pharmacy’s Daniel Walsh believed temporary venues could help the gap left by the closed Claremont Hotel and relocated Brooklyn Lounge.

“I would like to see a pop-up bar or two, with a bit of live music,” he said.

Friendlies Eyecare operator Brett Willis has watched some nearby premises shops stay empty for up to a decade, which he blamed on high rents.

“There needs to be a compound levy on rates for unlet premises to encourage landlords to make an effort to get a tenant,” he said.

“People won’t feel safe when places have been left derelict for years.”

The Town would likely need to seek about $350,000 in government funding for the upgrade but a spokeswoman said costs were still being investigated.

“CCTV is expensive infrastructure, so we will also continue to provide our additional safety measures such as security patrols and working with private landowners and businesses to keep our town safe,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the Town’s role in filling empty shops was limited and it held various events to activate the town centre, including this week’s Great Claremont Treasure Hunt.

“The Town is proactive is responding to new town centre businesses, for example, recently assisting a business owner to expand their food and beverage business promptly post-COVID-19.”

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