A new program designed to make shoppers, visitors, and merchants, feel safe while visiting downtown Alliston is off to a good start.
The ABIA has partnered with Nottawasaga OPP to provide camera coverage of the downtown core using the Security Camera Registry and Mapping (SCRAM) program. The program will add participating businesses to a map in its database.
The cameras will capture images around the clock from locations at local businesses. Those businesses can voluntarily provide the video footage to police if a crime has taken place.
Police will not have access to the installed cameras, and would have to contact business owners to ask for footage in the event they believe it contains information about a crime in the area.
The ABIA made $5,000 available as incentive for merchants to take part. The Police Services Board also made a $2,000 commitment to the program.
“It’s going to be a very successful program,” said Lachlan McGurk, director of the ABIA. “We want to cover 75 per cent of the downtown area. We want to attract people to safe downtown Alliston. The coverage area includes from the train tracks right down to the end of Victoria Street. It will also include Young Street, but right now we’re focusing on the downtown core.”
The system does not work like a closed-circuit television system where someone is watching the cameras.
The only people who have immediate access to the footage are the merchants.
The ABIA made sure that the cameras installed are of a high quality so that if the footage needs to be viewed, it will be clear and provide the information needed.
“We offer a specific camera system and it is installed by a local guy,” Lachlan explained. “The only people who should be afraid of these cameras are criminals.” The ABIA plans to allocate more funds to the project next year.
The OPP plans to extend the program to other areas including Beeton and Tottenham in the future.
With the cameras in place, anyone who plans on committing a crime in the area will know their likeness will likely be captured so the cameras will act as a deterrent to crime in the downtown area.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times