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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Big Brother Britain

The Daily Telegraph reports that in some parts of the country there is a camera for almost every 100 people after the Government and local councils spent hundreds of millions of pounds to treble their numbers in the last decade.

They say that Town halls now control around 60,000 cameras, which are used by the authorities and police to spy on the public and investigate crimes – compared to just 21,000 in 1999.

Although there is still support for CCTV amongst the general public as a means of deterring crime, the evidence does not necessarily support that. A study by the Metropolitan Police in August found that just one crime is solved each year for every 1,000 cameras while Home Office research has warned eight in ten images are not of good enough quality for police to use:

Alex Deane, the director of Big Brother Watch, said CCTV was seen as a "cheap alternative to policing" and the rise of expensive "surveillance networks" has made little impact on cutting crime.

He said: "Local councils across Britain are creating enormous networks of CCTV surveillance at great expense, but the evidence for the ability of CCTV to deter or solve crimes is sketchy at best.

CCTV has its place if it is of sufficient quality, supports effective community policing and proper safeguards against their misuse are put in place.
Remember the goings on in the Car Park of County Hall Swansea that were caught on CCTV several years ago? No doubt other such films exist from all around Wales.
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