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Camera operator loss: Less efficient, more costly service

RISING costs, vandalism and taking officers from other duties are likely if the Department of Police and Emergency Management has its way and gives Speed Camera Operator the boot, affecting 11 employees. Axing these jobs means police and unmanned vehicles will have to fill the gap.

Members tendered a submission setting out what this change would mean, outlined below:

Police officers are paid about double of these operators, so costs will rise if police pick up these extra duties. The police force is already overstretched and will now be expected to do even more. With camera operations added to their workload it’s likely it will get a lower priority.

Manned vehicles are currently placed in areas with high crash rates; cameras will inevitably be placed in convenient, close locations, so officers can then attend to other duties. It could also mean these vehicles could be left in garages. For unmanned vehicles, expect more vandalism and a more difficult task of defending claims of ‘revenue raising’. This means more infringement challenges, and without the experienced camera operators at the helm, possibly more lost court cases.

Manned operations also average higher capture rates, and operators are able to act quickly to fix faulty equipment and respond to traffic changes.

Despite the submission the agency still plans to abolish manned speed cameras.

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