Extra security cameras for Hills building sites
Source: Hills News
Date: Thursday, 26 June 2013
Theft, vandalism and dumping at building sites around The Hills region are big problems and getting worse, local police said.
New homes being built in Kellyville, Riverstone and Windsor have been popular targets recently.
"Stealing from building sites is getting worse; even hot water heaters are being taken," The Hills police commander, Rob Critchlow, said.
"There's also a problem of safety around construction areas when unauthorised people go into them."
Superintendent Critchlow said police were supporting housing industry figures promoting Build Watch: a Neighbourhood Watch-modelled program for enhancing security on building sites.
Build Watch was launched by Eden Brae Homes two years ago.
It installs security cameras on building sites to gather evidence against trespassers and to deter people from going on-site in the first place.
Eden Brae's safety manager Nathan Owens said he hoped other building companies adopted a similar approach.
"We have about 120 cameras on sites at the moment," Mr Owens said.
"Our aim is to have a camera on every site."
He said another advantage was it enabled home buyers to go online and see how their home-building was progressing without visiting the site.
The Housing Industry Association's executive director, David Bare, said the theft of copper and steel from buildings sites was a particular problem.
"We've had quite a few taps being stolen from an estate in Riverstone recently," he said.
"Site safety is a big issue too; anything that keeps unauthorised people off a site is a good move.
"This also makes it clear that the theft of this material is not to be tolerated and people should phone the police."
He also said anything that prevented illegal dumping at building sites was welcomed, because getting rid of unwanted waste at sites was a growing problem.
Superintendent Critchlow urged the public to get involved with Build Watch.
Here comes the neighbourhood: From left, The Hills police commander Rob Critchlow, HIA executive director David Bare, Eden Brae Homes' safety manager Nathan Owens and Hills police inspector Jim Szabo, at a Build Watch site at Kellyville.