Volume 94, Issue 103

Wednesday, April 4, 2001


Med students rally against hight tuition

USC applauds students and profs

CHRW gets a national nod for excellence

Downtown surveillance cameras set to be on the lookout this summer

Transit strike hits Victoria

Alberta students join fight for foothills


Downtown surveillance cameras set to be on the lookout this summer

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Staff

The City of London is one step closer to watching your every move.

Yesterday morning at City Hall, David Tennant, co-chair of the city's Coordinating Committee for Community Safety and president of Hampton Group Inc., announced that London's plan to install surveillance cameras in the downtown core will soon become a reality.

London has entered into an agreement with Mirtech International Security Inc. and Lyric Communications Inc. to implement the monitored surveillance camera system in an effort to lower the crime rate in downtown London, said Josh Levite, regional manager of Mirtech.

"We examined all the sites and realized that a wireless system would be the best solution," he said, adding this method would not disrupt the city with major construction.

Tennant said the cameras are for prevention and deterrence, as well as to make a change in the community's perception from fear to a perception of safety. Tennant also said he thinks the project will aid in the economic rejuvenation of the downtown area."

He said the capital costs and Good and Services Tax of the system equal $235,000. "I am delighted to tell you this morning that we have committed funds of $171,500." By July, with the continued support of the London community, all of the funds should be in place, he said.

Anne Marie DeCicco, London's Mayor, also thanked London citizens and businesses for their support. "These cameras have been a real labour of love for members of the community. We really rely on committed people in our community to make a difference," she said.

Tennant also thanked the London Downtown Business Association, the Bank of Nova Scotia, the London Free Press and Barney's for donating money to fund the cameras. Among other businesses and individual donors, an anonymous donor gave the city $50,000 to support the project.

The University Students' Council and Western's Board of Governors also donated $12,500, the cost of one surveillance camera.

Jim Smith, a London citizen who sits on the CCCS, addressed the privacy issue that these cameras have raised. "If you're not carrying a knife then there's nothing to worry about," Smith said.

"This is not a new thing," he said, adding there are many cameras in buildings, at ATM machines and on highways that are already recording people's daily movements. "If someone will think twice because the cameras are there, the crime rate can be deterred and consumer confidence raised," Smith said.

If any other members of the London community wish to contribute to the program, Tennant said they can call 471-8822.

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