Volume 93, Issue 32

Wednesday, October 27, 1999


NEWS

Officer's salary to top USC's agenda

Western reviews admin posts

Olympic park gets federal support

$6 million and counting for brand new stadium

Downtown lights, cameras in stalled for increased safety

Downtown makeover committee unveiled

Briefs

Caught on campus

Downtown lights, cameras in stalled for increased safety



By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

Lights, cameras, but no action are presently being planned for the streets of downtown London.

David Tennant, co-chair of the Co-ordinating Committee for Community Safety, said the CCCS will deliver news to the London Police Department services board tomorrow regarding the current state of fundraising for video surveillance cameras to be implemented downtown.

"The committee was formed after the unfortunate and untimely death of Michael Goldie-Ryder," Tennant said. He explained Goldie-Ryder, the victim of a fatal downtown stabbing last January, is what sparked concerns over safety issues in the downtown core.

Tennant said the project called for 16 cameras throughout downtown at a cost of $200,000. "We will confirm about six cameras [tomorrow]," he said.

The CCCS' report will also state the City of London will match whatever London Hydro donates to improve downtown street lighting, Tennant said. Although he added the City would not assist towards the cost of the cameras.

"I'm not one to rush into a lot of video surveillance because of privacy," said London Mayor Dianne Haskett. "However, I think this is something that downtown London needs right now."

Dave Williamson, manager of finance at London Hydro, said the company is committing $900,000 to the lighting project, which would be finished by the end of 2001. "I think what is driving this is to improve downtown lighting and safety," he said.

Downtown London is defined as the block with Queen and York Streets, as its North and South barriers, stretching East and West to Talbot and Waterloo Streets, explained Mark Ridley, traffic signal technician and co-ordinator for the street light revitalization project for the city of London.

The two most troublesome blocks are located along Richmond Street, between York and King Streets, and King and Dundas Streets. "That's because that's where all the bars are located," he said, reinforcing the need for more lights and new cameras downtown.

Const. Jim Balmain of the LPD, said the police are expecting good news from the CCCS meeting. "We're in favour of it," he said.




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Copyright The Gazette 1999