This fact sheet has been prepared to assist Victorian councils that are considering applying for installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems from the Department of Justice and Community Safety (department).
Enhancing the effectiveness of CCTV
CCTV can be an effective situational crime prevention tool at a local level when it is combined with other crime prevention strategies tailored to specific local issues and context.
Evidence from research conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom has shown that CCTV is more effective in reducing crime in car parks compared to other settings such as city centres. This research also suggests that CCTV is more effective in deterring vehicle crimes that tend to be premeditated rather than impulsive violent crimes.
Applying for CCTV funding
The department will only consider applications for CCTV systems that:
- are submitted by Victorian councils (not-for-profit organisations are not eligible for CCTV funding because of the legislative and privacy requirements associated with CCTV systems)
- ensure CCTV is focussed on public spaces only
- confirm council is responsible for owning, managing and maintaining the CCTV system
- limit access to CCTV storage systems and footage to council staff and/or Victoria Police.
Applications for mobile CCTV systems will not be considered.
Information to include in your application
Your application must provide a clear overview of the operation of the CCTV system and how it will complement other crime prevention initiatives in the project location. This includes providing maps or plans to show the areas it will cover and information on the type of behaviour it is designed to capture. Information on how the footage will be monitored, recorded and stored and where and by whom this will be undertaken should also be provided in your application.
All applications for CCTV projects must include a letter of support from Victoria Police, signed by a responsible local member of the rank of Inspector or above. If it is proposed that Victoria Police will have a role in the monitoring or storage of CCTV footage, the letter of support from Victoria Police must also confirm this role.
Where councils have an existing CCTV system, evidence should be provided of how the system is used by Victoria Police and the outcomes achieved in addressing crime by presenting the findings of previous audits and evaluations of the system.
Condition of funding
If your project is approved for funding, you will be required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Victoria Police to inform the management and operation of the system and access to footage.
On our website you will find a Guide to Developing CCTV for Public Safety in Victoria which provides a detailed process for considering the use of CCTV, its implementation, management and evaluation.
Councils are also strongly encouraged to read the 2018 Victorian Auditor General Office report on Security and Privacy of Surveillance Technologies in Public Places which identified a range of recommendations to support effective management of CCTV systems.