Some N.S. college cities are eyeing digicam surveillance to discourage pupil mischief

HALIFAX – The mayor of Wolfville, N.S., says her city is including surveillance cameras in a residential space close to Acadia College in response to “persevering with and escalating” property harm locally.

The challenge has raised considerations amongst pupil leaders, however one other college city within the province shall be watching the challenge to see if it’s efficient.

Mayor Wendy Donovan says occasional vandalism and mischief by the hands of partying Acadia College college students just isn’t new, however these days it’s been inflicting security considerations in a neighbourhood subsequent to campus.

“Virtually any weekend, road indicators are stolen,“ Donovan mentioned in an interview Friday. Wolfville has spent about $12,000 changing broken or lacking road indicators on this neighbourhood, she mentioned.

“Not solely is {that a} price, it’s additionally harmful,” she mentioned. Residents have been notably involved about lacking cease indicators and the potential for accidents, Donovan added. That is on high of studies of automobile windshields being keyed, aspect mirrors being torn off and college students urinating in residential yards.

The city has proposed including 11 cameras to 9 mild poles alongside residential streets beside Acadia throughout a two-year trial interval. The cameras wouldn’t be actively monitored however could possibly be reviewed if an incident happens.

Donovan mentioned the Acadia Scholar Union has raised privateness considerations in regards to the plan. Union representatives didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

If the pilot digicam program is authorised by Wolfville council subsequent month and produces outcomes, the mayor of Antigonish, N.S., which is residence to St. Francis Xavier College, says her city would take into account following go well with.

“If the Wolfville challenge is successful, we will surely take a look at it,” Laurie Boucher mentioned in an electronic mail. “We share the identical points, as a result of we’re each small college cities.” She added that there are already cameras round Major Road in Antigonish’s downtown.

In Kingston, Ont., residence to Queen’s College and referred to as a web site of rowdy pupil events, Mayor Bryan Patterson mentioned there are not any plans to put in cameras close to campus. Patterson mentioned that’s as a result of in Kingston, pupil harm is basically restricted to a handful of particular occasions.

“For us, the main focus has not been on vandalism or harm to property. It’s been extra giant, out-of-control home events and unsanctioned road events,” Patterson mentioned in an interview Friday.

“In instances like that, police have used quite a lot of completely different instruments to have eyes on the bottom, however these are simply non permanent measures,” he mentioned.

Wolfville’s extra everlasting surveillance measure shall be mentioned at this Tuesday’s council assembly, the place councillors will overview a employees report launched Friday on the pilot challenge. A vote on the proposal is scheduled for Could 17.

Donovan mentioned she was stunned by the coed union’s considerations over the cameras as a result of Acadia already has cameras masking a lot of its campus. She famous that in 2019, when a defibrillator was stolen from an Acadia constructing, digicam footage was used to establish the perpetrators and retrieve the medical gadget.

Along with the campus, “fairly a variety of our companies even have cameras downtown, so the one change actually is that these are in a pilot challenge,” she mentioned.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed April 30, 2022.

This story was produced with the monetary help of the Meta and Canadian Press Information Fellowship.

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