People who ride bikes along Kew's popular Yarra Boulevard can do so with a little extra confidence this long weekend thanks to the deployment of new mobile CCTV trailers.
Funded by a $110,000 grant from the Victorian Government's Community Crime Prevention Program, three new CCTV trailers will target hoon driving, drug activity and anti-social behaviour as well dangerous tacking.
Managed by Victoria Police, the surveillance units (two have been deployed with a third to come shortly) will monitor the six kilometre stretch of the Boulevard that has been the target of malicious tacking incidents over the years.
Police have gone to extensive lengths to track down the mysterious 'Boulie Tacker', who has waged a malicious campaign against cyclists on the inner-Melbourne route for the past six years.
Hoon activity from drivers and motorcyclists on the boulevard also continues to be an ongoing and major risk to road cyclists who enjoy the popular route.
Following community concern and an estimated cost of $100,000 per year for VicRoads to sweep the Boulevard with a magnetic mat, Victoria Police established the Yarra Boulevard Committee with representatives from Boroondara City Council, VicRoads, Parks Victoria, Cycling Victoria and local resident groups.
The Committee worked together to identify environmental design and cost-effective options to improve road safety in the precinct and deter further criminal activity.
The units are able to capture footage in low light conditions and will further assist Victoria Police in identifying the culprits.
The mobility of the units also means that in the long-term they can be redeployed to other areas to improve public safety and strengthen police activity.
“These mobile CCTV units are going significantly improve the safety of cyclists and other road users along Yarra Boulevard who have been unfairly targeted by dangerous tacking,” Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins said.
“With the lifting of the 5km limit on movement we expect to see more cyclists enjoying a ride on the Boulevard this long weekend and they will see the new CCTV units in place.”
Bicycle Network attended the online media announcement with the Minister for Crime Prevention, Victoria Police, the City of Boroondara and Cycling Victoria.
Bicycle Network thanks the Victorian Government for taking action to protect the safety of people who ride bikes in Kew this long weekend.
With a noticeable increase in the number of bike riders enjoying Yarra Boulevard and more set to come this weekend, it's imperative that dangerous driving and cowardly tacking activity is stopped.