Centretown group wants cameras on Ottawa streets
The Central Ottawa Neighbourhoods Safety Alliance wants the city to install closed-circuit cameras in Ottawa's core to catch crime on tape, much like the city of Hamilton, Ont. has done.
In a letter to the Ottawa Police Services board, the group expressed their full support for a police operated and monitored closed-circuit TV surveillance pilot project.
Ottawa Police Chief Vernon White has been calling for more street cameras for months, saying they help reduce crime. City council recently passed a bylaw requiring cameras to be installed in city taxis by July 2.
CTV spoke to some Centretown residents to gauge their opinion of the idea of cameras on city streets.
Some thought it could help make Ottawa a safer place.
Amir Masoum has worked at his Centretown pizzeria, 2 For 1 Pizza Pie, for ten years. But he says his central location comes with risk. After several "close calls," he installed a camera system himself.
"So many fights, especially late night. Drunk people, they fight each other for nothing," said Masoum.
But others, like Centretown resident Mike Shives, said the move would be unnecessary.
"I leave my bike unlocked most of the time on my front porch. I don't worry about it, I've never had a problem," he said.
Shives does, however, worry about the implications of constant surveillance.
"It's kind of infringing on our privacy. I don't want Big Brother watching me walking up and down the street just going to the store," he said.
Back at the pizza shop, Masoum concedes privacy is important, but he says protecting his business is job one.
With a report from CTV's Natalie Johnson