CRIME rates may increase in Cabramatta following Fairfield Council's decision to discontinue monitoring CCTV cameras, says Cabramatta superintendent Wayne Murray.
At last Tuesday night's Outcomes committee meeting, councillors voted unanimously to divert the $400,000 it spends annually monitoring a handful of cameras in Cabramatta into the installation of new cameras across the council's local government area.
The cameras will be implemented in public spaces, around council assets and in key gateway sites, such as roads, over the next four years.
"I am disappointed that police were never formally briefed on council's intention to take such actions without some type of consultation with police about the potential impact of such a decision," Superintendent Murray said.
"In my view, crime may well increase around the CBD in Cabramatta, particularly because CCTV will not be monitored live.
"Live monitoring allows police to intercept and prevent crime from occurring, and this has been the hallmark of a very successful program over many years."
Superintendent Murray emphasised it was not NSW Police policy for officers to monitor CCTV cameras.
He will formally ask the council to reconsider its decision.
But at the council meeting, mayor Frank Carbone told councillors the roll-out of CCTV surveillance cameras was to make the area safer.
"The council spends thousands of dollars in picking up people's rubbish and thousands of dollars in removing graffiti," he said.
"We are going to be proactive because we don't want our area to become a place where people come to do crime.
"This is about the people."
But councillor Joe Molluso lashed out at Cr Carbone in a statement, saying he had "abandoned" CCTV monitoring in Cabramatta.
"Cameras without monitoring is like wearing glasses while sleeping," he said.