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CCTV cameras potentially coming to downtown Guelph

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As early as next year, there could be more video surveillance in Guelph.

Guelph police have proposed a plan to install 24-hour video surveillance in parts of the downtown core.

The eye in the sky would come in the form of 14 closed-circuit surveillance cameras to help officers on the job while offering residents and business owners some peace of mind.

“Add some safety for those that are shopping down there, visiting down there or carrying on their day to day business,” said Deputy Chief Daryl Goetz with the Guelph Police Service.

The cameras would be designed to capture incidents when they occur and assist in investigations.

“It’ll give us something to go back and look at what actually occurred that could be evidence for court,” said Goetz. “It could also be a deterrent.”

He added that by people simply knowing the cameras are there, it can help stop illegal incidents before they happen.

So far, residents who spoke with CTV News say they approve of the potential installations.

“I don’t know how many bars are done here, but any time, there could be a lot of people. Anything to keep it safe and secure,” said Karen Kent, a resident of Guelph.

Dino Scrementi says he’s dealt with multiple break-ins at his sports store on Wyndham Street. He also works at a restaurant which has been broken into.

“It’s very stressful and nerve-racking and upsetting,” he said, adding that he hopes the cameras will help keep wrongdoers accountable.

“It’s a wonderful feeling because you know that you have eyes working at all time.”

For residents concerned about privacy, police stress that the cameras won’t be continuously monitored and those downtown will not be under 24/7 surveillance.

If passed, the cameras also will not replace physical officers on the street.

“We will maintain a presence in our downtown area. This is just another technique,” said Goetz.

Guelph police expect costs to come in at roughly $495,000.

$295,000 has been requested to be paid through the capital budget.

Police have also applied to receive $200,000 from the province’s Closed Circuit Television Grant Program.

If approved, operating costs are estimated to come in at around $140,000 per year, and police will consult with the Downtown Guelph Business Association to determine where the cameras will be installed.

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