Cops admit CCTV no use in deterring drunken violence
'Did you see me smack that geezer? Class, wasn't it'
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. ®
Adjust the booze, not the cameras.
Drunks in town centres will always cause trouble, so stop them getting so drunk.
Instruct all town centre drinking establishments to water their drinks as the evening goes on.
Once you get down to 1% alcohol content I defy any moron to get drunk enough to matter.
To all you who want to ban alco-pops.... I'm 38, and pretty much drink alco pops and nothing else. Never really liked the bitter taste of beers or lagers for my sweet tooth.... and, strangely, when passing the chavs in our area it's ALWAYS either cheap wine or cheap lager that they drink. Like any self-respecting hard kid would be seen with a WKD in their paws? Time to ban lager IMO. Although I can see your point. There were NEVER any fights before alcopops came along, and every thug in every bar has given up lager for them. Obviously.
Oh, and despite there being numerous camera's covering our town, I'll be damned if I'll trust them to make me feel safer.....they don't.
About time Pubs realised their responsibility in NOT serving someone who is already intoxicated - but that would hurt profits, wouldn't it? Can't be having that........
My opinion on this
CCTV is a waste of money and electricity...and nobody likes being watched.
The root of all evil is NOT alcohol...it is education.
Even if all drinks were for free, only idiots would drink until they drop....so also cheap drinks are not the problem.
The problem is the legal age of drinking - it should be lowered to 16 to achieve a responsible drinking behaviour.
If the legal age is a lot higher then the real age, people learn to drink from youngesters the same age and not from their parents.
The parents could teach their children how to drink reasonably....in France and Germany, there are not that many problems with alcohol as in the UK, although the legal age is 14 (wine etc in France) and 16 (beer) and there have never been any closing times.
It is all about educating your children properly. This is the same with violence and aggressive behaviour.
Instead of watching everyone, what about controlling whats on tv and on the cinemas a bit more? There are so many films and movies involving violence - and children will think it is cool to destroy things .......