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High School Gets Surveillance Cameras

Spy cameras keep eyes on schools

Many schools nationwide are currently being fitted with video security camera surveillance cameras.

Security fences and alarms have proved ineffective in deterring crime in our schools.

Schools categorized "high risk" have security camera systems installed, in an attempt to contain damage and theft of computers last year totaled in the millions.

Devices which lock terminals to desks may become mandatory on new computers delivered to public schools.

But the principal of Crawford Public School, which has lost 20 computers over the past five years, said lock-down devices were ineffective against professional thieves.

"They've got the tools to unbolt, and in one case they just took the table attached [to the computer]," he said. "Where there's a will there's a way."

School Computer Room needs CCTV Video Surveillance Video surveillance cameras installed in his school a year ago appeared to be the single most effective device in deterring computer theft by amateurs.

A former student of the primary school was prosecuted successfully after the principal identified him from surveillance video data.

More charges against intruders have been filed by police since a new school protection act was introduced in May, and illegal entry in schools has fallen by 81 per cent.

"It's made a world of difference . . . We've been pretty impressed with the last two years improvements," he said. "We've lost $22,000 and $26,000 [worth of equipment] in two separate incidents, but there's been no illegal entries and thefts since the camera system was installed and the fence built."

Yesterday, the school district launched a new safety and security kit for school principals. The kits include a visitor management plan which recommends that all outsiders pass security cameras to sign-in and obtain identification badges to be worn while on school property. Each person entering the school effectively also registers his or her face with the camera security system.

A former police commissioner, said the video surveillance/visitors badge system was unlikely to be opposed by principals and parents, and would further cut the incidents of harassment and common assault within school gates.

"The principal and management are entitled to know who is on their premises at any time," the police commissioner said. "Anybody who has got a lawful reason for being there will not object to being identified."

Read the Opinions concluded by of the Department of Justice on cameras in schools