The University of Otago has unveiled a plan to dot 60 cameras around the student quarter and central Dunedin.
The $1.275 million project, which is supported by police and the Dunedin City Council, is set to be split into two phases and the university hopes to begin rolling out cameras covering areas north and south of the campus, including on Castle and Leith Sts, this year.
The next phase would be carried out next year and involved the areas east of the campus, including Clyde, Dundas and George Sts, reports Otago Daily Times.
However, the plan could face some obstacles, as the council believed the university would require resource consent to install cameras in some of the proposed areas.
A university spokeswoman said it took the view resource consent was not needed, but was happy to discuss the issue with council further.
Vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said it would consult with students before introducing the project, which was aimed at keeping students safe.
"The plan regarding CCTV has not been finalised because we were waiting for input from students, including Otago University Students' Association (OUSA), which began on Monday with a visit from the deputy proctor," Prof Hayne said.
But she believed the project had merit.
"We have done substantial work in this area and in my view, CCTV is the best way to keep our students safe.
"But if someone can come up with an alternative idea, I'm all ears."
Prof Hayne expected there would be some concerns about the plan, but likened it to the introduction of Campus Watch, which prompted suspicion at the time but was now highly rated by students.
"However, I make no apology that we need to do something about non-students committing crime in our area."
The news prompted some concern from students after the plan was first revealed by student magazine Critic yesterday.
Some students on the magazine's Facebook page were concerned about their privacy being invaded, while others believed it was necessary to keep them safe.
Of eight students spoken to by the Otago Daily Times yesterday, only one was against the initiative.
Castle St resident Matt Beasley (20) and a group of his friends said they would be supportive of the plan as long as the university did not use the cameras to catch out students for minor offences, such as urinating in public.
It would be comforting knowing if students were assaulted or robbed the culprits would be more likely to be caught, Mr Beasley said.
Otago police coastal area prevention manager Acting Inspector Ben Butterfield said he supported the initiative as a way of improving the safety in the North Dunedin community.