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St. Stephen, N.B., adds 15 cameras to protect downtown businesses


St. Stephen, N.B., has brought in additional recruits to help deter and fight crime in the border town.

Fifteen high-resolution security cameras spread across five hubs on Milltown Boulevard and King Street have been strategically implemented to keep an eye on businesses that have been experiencing an increased number of crimes in recent months.

The hubs are located at Bone Physiotherapy, SIMCorp, Game Time Sports Bar, McVay’s Barbering and Hairstyling, and Briggs Plumbing.

The $30,000 project was led by the St. Stephen Business Improvement Area. The cost was partially funded by Downtown New Brunswick, a parent company for multiple business organizations in the province.

 “If they know there is cameras up, that will hopefully stop some of this activity that is happening downtown,” says St. Stephen BIA executive director Heather Donahue. “It’s not just happening in St. Stephen, it’s happening in every community across Canada. All we wanted to do was to do our part to protect our businesses, our employers, employees, the community, and tourists and we hope it will.”

The cameras were installed by Frontline Security Solutions Inc., which is a security company that resides in Charlotte County.

Donahue says the cameras aren’t even necessarily for the businesses themselves. The main goal of the added eyes will be to help New Brunswick RCMP to track down and catch those who commit crimes.

“If a crime occurs, the RCMP can go in to the business, which they know where all the cameras are, and they can look at the footage,” Donahue says. “Hopefully it will assist them in preventing crime but also in collecting evidence for prosecution.”

“The biggest thing is (to) deter crime, because people know they are being watched,” says Mayor Allan MacEachern. “It gives the police a tool to timestamp and see visual actions that are going on.”

The mayor is pleased for area businesses to see the cameras up, adding the town will be adding some of their own cameras on street lights in the near future with help from NB Power.

While he feels the cameras are necessary given the situation in town, he doesn’t want residents to feel like they are being constantly monitored.

“This is like a pilot project to me to see what this can do for us,” the mayor says. “We have to be careful because we still have to be able to live in our community and not feel like we are being watched. So we have to be careful with how this footage is being used.”

For businesses, the cameras will hopefully lead to a safer community.

“We have had an incident before where a person has come and opened the door and stolen someone else’s food,” says Katherine Mills, who owns the Pita Pit in town and is also the president for the BIA. “The fact that now we know where they came from, where they went, it’s a lot better for us.”

“Everybody as a business owner is happy to have any help they can because to keep the doors open every step will help,” says Bone Physiotherapy owner Stephanie Stevens. “It gives us a great aesthetic that we are trying to have a safe business front.”

Many businesses in town already had cameras of their own in place; however many have been vandalised over time. Donahue says that won’t be the case with these cameras.

“These are all hardwired right into the buildings,” Donahue says. “They are high up as well so we have made it a little more difficult to get access to them.”

The BIA says this is only phase one for the security cameras. In the New Year the organization will look into adding more cameras if deemed required.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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