Safe City coordinator Stacey Kirmos inspects the damage.
Safe City coordinator Stacey Kirmos inspects the damage. Rob Williams

Rats cause CCTV chaos

THEY’RE meant to protect people from crooks and low types but the Safe City cameras could not protect themselves from a rat attack.

Rats at River Heart Parklands beside Bremer River put the surveillance camera system off the air by chewing through fibre cables.

Like all Safe City cameras, the ones at River Heart are connected to the Safe City monitoring room in Ipswich Mall.

Staff knew they had a problem when they started experiencing intermittent transmission problems from the River Heart cameras.

Rats were soon identified as the culprit.

Safe City coordinator Stacey Kirmos moved quickly to get the cameras back on line, bringing in a swag of experts to repair the damage.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the rats got in the pits near the river and crawled along the conduits encasing the cables.

“The cable was too low so they lifted the cable and did some work with the conduits to make it harder for the rats to get in,” Cr Pisasale said.

“The cameras have only been out twice.

“The other time was with the floods.”

There are 12 cameras throughout River Heart Parklands, which was officially opened in February 2007.

The Ipswich Safe City program started in 1994 as a measure to deal with mushrooming levels of crime and violence in the Ipswich CBD.

Since then it has since been expanded to cover Goodna, Booval, Bundamba, Redbank, Rosewood, North and West Ipswich and the Brassall bikeway.

Further expansions will include coverage of the Riverlink pedestrian bridge once it is built.

The Safe City facility in the mall operates 24 hours a day, monitoring more than 180 cameras, and has direct contact with the police.

Safe City has been credited with reducing crime and helping convict offenders by providing convincing evidence to courts.

The council said the success of the program had prompted visits by law-enforcement agencies from the Netherlands, Taiwan and Great Britain.

Police from three states in Australia and more than 25 local authorities have also visited the monitoring room to look and learn.

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