Archive » General News » Headline News » News

SCRAM cameras help OPP with downtown policing

September 1, 2022   ·   0 Comments

People who are up to no good in Alliston’s downtown area will find themselves the subject of a police investigation thanks to a partnership between the Alliston BIA and the OPP’s SCRAM program.

Cameras installed at downtown businesses can capture unlawful activity taking place which can then be viewed by police.

The OPP are not able to remotely access any cameras – access is by an onsite request only. The cameras do not invade anyone’s privacy.

The BIA is hoping to have 75 per cent coverage of the downtown area by the end of the year.

“You can see the physical cameras from the street,” explained Lachlan McGurk, vice chair of the BIA. “You would think that alone would work as a deterrent. The OPP have created window stickers alerting about the cameras and that may be another deterrent. We have one of the lowest crime rates in Ontario and we want to keep it that way – but that’s changing.”

For a reasonable person, a camera should be a deterrent; for others, they simply don’t care.

One person was caught committing an act of vandalism, looked right up a camera made a vulgar gesture.

So far, the cameras have been responsible for charges being laid in one bail violation and three thefts. The cameras have assisted in investigations concerning four stolen vehicles, one missing person, two incidents of mischief, two suspicious persons, one robbery, one indecent act, and one aggravated assault.

Graffiti has been an increasing problem this year with one suspect responsible for much of the unwanted vandalism. The person responsible has been clearly captured on camera. The OPP has released two bulletins about this but have not yet made an arrest.

The Alliston BIA provides a cleanup service through a third-party graffiti removal company.

While businesses are not charged directly for this service, it creates significant costs for the BIA, which is self-funded by the commercial property owners through a levy, and sets aside funding in its annual budget for removing graffiti.

The BIA has a camera incentive program where members get a $500 rebate upon installing an approved outdoor camera system.

Merchants benefiting from the incentive program will have their location added to the OPP’s map of camera locations in town and allow OPP access to footage on request.

By Brian Lockhart

Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support