An elderly Werribee resident, who was attacked and robbed while walking home after a trip to the grocery store, is calling for CCTV cameras to be installed to deter antisocial behaviour and make the streets safer.
The 75-year-old woman, who did not want to be named due to fears for her own safety, was walking along Richmond Crescent about 1pm on June 25 when she noticed a young female, whose face was covered by long blonde hair, walking towards her.
“I asked her if she was alright and she didn’t respond,” the resident told
Star Weekly. “She was closing in on me, not speaking, and I was unable to see her face. I grew terrified. I thought she was going to stab me.”
The woman says when the blonde confronted her, she turned to defend herself.
“I hit her with a shopping bag and she pushed me to the ground,” she said. “I’ve had a hip replacement so I’m just lucky I landed on the grass and not on the concrete or I could’ve been injured a lot worse.”
She said that as she fell, the woman grabbed her shopping bags and fled. She said she managed to conceal her purse in the fall, preventing possible theft.
The incident was reported to police, but the woman has little hope the offender will be caught. She believes if CCTV cameras were operating in open spaces, there would be a greater chance of catching such offenders.
“I don’t want to go walking any more. I feel it isn’t safe for people of my age to be walking around even in broad daylight,” she said.
Wyndham has no CCTV cameras operating in public spaces. In May, the state government invited councils to apply for Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants to install closed circuit television systems in public places.
Wyndham council’s chief executive, Kelly Grigsby, confirmed the council had not yet applied for the funding.
She said public lighting in Station Place had been partly funded by the program last year.
“Council works closely with police on many initiatives and the advice we have received is that the installation of cameras is not the most effective crime prevention tool,” she said. “The use of CCTV cameras also involves considerable ongoing costs.”
Ms Grigsby said if council was to install cameras, they would likely be placed in busy, high-traffic areas, rather than residential areas.
A spokeswoman for Victoria Police said cameras may serve as a deterrent to inappropriate or illegal behaviour.
She said access to good footage was beneficial when investigating crimes and as evidence to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. Footage also assisted police in locating witnesses.