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Wallsend MP launches petition to install CCTV at sporting facilities

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An increase in theft and vandalism at council-owned sporting facilities has spurred on one local MP to take a stand.

Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery this week launched a petition calling for City of Newcastle (CN) to allow clubs to install CCTV to protect their property at their respective grounds.

Her action follows the latest incident, which occurred at the weekend, involving the Broadmeadow Magic FC clubhouse.

It’s understood intruders smashed the windows of the facility to gain access to the canteen in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Although the Magic boasts CCTV cameras at the Broadmeadow venue, other organisations aren’t as lucky… and Ms Hornery is fed up.

“The amount of clubs being targeted is unacceptable,” she said.

“Despite widespread demand for CCTV, as both a preventative and an investigative tool, CN will not allow cameras to be installed at council-owned assets.

“This removes the organisations’ abilities to protect the property they store at those locations.

“A number of clubs have contacted me in recent months furious that they’re not allowed to even take minor steps in safeguarding their gear from theft and vandalism.

“In one instance, I was informed by a member they had installed CCTV in order to protect their equipment [stored in a container] on a council asset, only to be ordered by CN to remove the cameras.”

Ms Hornery praised the response from Newcastle City Police District.

But, she also acknowledged officers’ hands were somewhat tied by the lack of CCTV to identify the suspects.

“Police have responded to my calls for increased patrols in hotspots, however they are limited in their ability to investigate further without CCTV footage,” the local member added.

“This [petition] is a common-sense proposal that will potentially lower crime rates and make it easier to track down the wrong doers in our community.

“Sporting clubs are made up of hard-working volunteers.

“Mums, dads and grandparents who dedicate their time and money to ensure their kids have a fair go at community sport.

“They don’t need silly bureaucracy and needless red tape making it harder for them to run their clubs free of the threat of theft and vandalism.”

Ms Hornery has paper copies of the petition in her office at 67 Nelson Street, Wallsend, and will send it in her upcoming newsletter in late September, too.

If you are a victim of crime or have information in relation to these matters, contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

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