Surveillance cameras being explored for Sarnia neigbourhood

© Can Stock Photo / blasbike

A neighbourhood watch committee near downtown Sarnia is interested in installing surveillance cameras to cutdown on crime in the area.

The topic was discussed during Thursday morning’s police services board meeting after it was first proposed by Sarnia Heritage District Neighbourhood Watch in April. During the spring meeting, the board requested police investigate the use and costs of surveillance cameras in the city.

On Thursday, board member Shamel Hosni asked for an update on if grants were being explored to pay for cameras. New Police Chief Derek Davis said he believes the grant application that came out closed in late May.

“However, if surveillance cameras were something that the board wished to look at, certainly there would be a lot of ramifications both for the city, for residents, there’s some privacy concerns. It would be a part of a much larger project examination that we would need to undertake.”

The watch committee represents 130 member households living primarily on North Vidal and Brock Streets, Maria Street, North College Avenue, West London Road and surrounding areas.

Davis said subject to further conversation on the topic, in some communities, surveillance cameras have been shown to be effective.

“There would just be a lot of work that we would have to look at to make sure that it’s the right fit for Sarnia and that it’s properly implemented in terms of privacy and some of those other concerns.”

Davis said if it’s something the board wants to pursue, the service would just need a longer timeline to make sure that it’s done properly.

Co-Chair Paul Wiersma, serving as chair for the meeting in Mike Bradley’s absence, said he trusts the chief and the acting deputy chief, Peter Murphy, will become more familiar with some of the board’s outstanding items as they grow into their roles.