SHOALHAVEN City Council has been ordered to turn off its 18 security cameras in the Nowra CBD.
The Administrative Decisions Tribunal has found in favour of anti CCTV campaigner Adam Bonner. In a decision handed down on Thursday afternoon the tribunal said council is to refrain from any conduct or action in contravention of an information protection principle or a privacy code of practice.
In a further blow council has been ordered to render Mr Bonner a written apology for the breaches, and advise him of the steps to be taken by the council to remove the possibility of similar breaches in the future.
Council turned off the cameras at 3.30pm on Thursday.
All up, 129 reasons were given by the tribunal for the decision including that expert evidence suggested that CCTV did little to prevent crime.
It said the data available for the Nowra CBD suggests supported the Mr Bonner’s argument that council had not demonstrated that filming people in the Nowra CBD was reasonably necessary to prevent crime.
“In fact, available data suggests that since the council's CCTV program was implemented crime has increased in the Nowra CBD in the categories of assaults, break and enters and malicious damage,” the tribunal finding said.
The decision was handed down in Privacy Awareness Week.
Council has spent $41,000 in fighting the two-year case.