A Maitland City Council bid for a closed circuit television in the city has failed to secure funding.
Council applied for a share of $3 million in federal funds to install the security cameras at crime hotspots such as Maitland Heritage Mall and the Rutherford Shopping Centre to discourage graffiti.
“We’re not giving up,” mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore said.
“If there are any further funds that become available we will make the application again.”
The successful applicants received between $50,000 and $150,000 for projects that ran for 18 months to two years to help clean up graffiti, improve lighting and install CCTV.
Maitland’s failure to secure a share was despite the endorsement of Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon.
“Graffiti is vandalism – it’s as simple as that,” Mr Fitzgibbon said in February.
“It’s wilful damage to public and private property and that’s a crime. This money will help local councils with great ideas to help clean it up and prevent it coming back.”
Cr Blackmore said the failure to secure funds was in no way a poor reflection on Maitland.
“You have to appreciate that grant would have received applications from across Australia for some very worthwhile projects,” he said. “These things happen and it was only our first attempt at getting those funds.”
Cr Blackmore said the council had been investigating CCTV for some time before the application was made and had consulted with police.
“Unfortunately we do need this,” he said.
“Unfortunately crime does occur in Maitland and we read about it in the paper, but it pays to remember CCTV is only one way of cracking down on these people.”
CCTV is increasingly used as a means of identifying the perpetrators of crime including assaults and armed robberies.