We have chosen to not install and operate surveillance systems, such as Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV), in public spaces. Evidence on the effectiveness of CCTV for crime prevention, especially for drug-related matters, remains inconclusive.
CCTV is generally used to gather forensic evidence for criminal prosecutions and to improve police response times, both of which are considered law enforcement matters. We view CCTV as a standard police operational tool and that the installation and management of such systems should be the responsibility of the Victorian Government.
Instead, we apply Crime Prevention through Environmental Design principles, which aim to deter criminal behaviour through optimising physical environments in order to lessen the opportunity for crime. Examples include lighting and clear sightlines to ensure visibility.
In October 2017 the Victorian Government installed CCTV in and around Victoria Street. These include:
- eight cameras affixed to three poles on the east side of Lennox Street, between Victoria and Highett streets
- five cameras affixed to two poles on Victoria Street, on the corner of Nicholson Street (eastern side of Victoria Street) and opposite Little Lithgow Street (southern side of Victoria Street).
In Victoria, CCTV is covered by Information Privacy Principles No 1.3 and the Surveillance Devices Act 1999 and Commonwealth Statutes. Owners of CCTV in public places should take reasonable steps to inform people of the use of the devices.