Feeds

Cops admit CCTV no use in deterring drunken violence

'Did you see me smack that geezer? Class, wasn't it'

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Forests of CCTV cameras in the UK's town centres have failed to have any impact on anti-social behaviour, an ACPO official told the House of Lords Constitution Committee yesterday.

Graeme Gerrard, head of CCTV at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said cameras did a good job deterring crimes like theft, for example in car parks. Such criminals are presumably acting "rationally", he said, and will take cameras and other surveillance kit into account.

But when it comes to making town centres safe after the pubs shut, it seems you'd be better off sending in the Salvation Army.

"Before CCTV can effectively deter people, they need to know the cameras are there. They have got to be thinking about the consequences of their behaviour," he said.

Clearly, drunken youths are, by definition, not going to be thinking rationally, and will happily be taking lumps out of each other, innocent passers by, and street furniture whether they're being watched by their girlfriends, their mates, CCTV, or even Sky TV.

Gerrard insisted that the proliferation of CCTV cameras in public spaces was being driven by local communities, or rather local authorities and other public agencies.

The public was often left disappointed by CCTV's lack if impact on drunkenness and violence, he said. "... it doesn't deter most crime. I think they are perhaps misled in terms of the amount of crime that CCTV might prevent."

Gerrard’s evidence might have seemed slightly at odds with ACPO's own written submission to the committee, which said: "The availability of CCTV images greatly assists in the investigation of crime and disorder."

However, the evidence goes on to say: "Although the crime reduction capability of CCTV is sometimes disputed, the contribution to crime investigation is significant and the recovery of available CCTV evidence is one of the first actions taken during a major investigation."

So, the conclusion seems to be that CCTV will do little to deter young men from tanking up on Old Wifebeater before pummelling anything that comes in their path. But, perhaps, there's a slightly better chance they'll get collared afterwards. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?