Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Reality check for David Davis on liberty

David Davis may think CCTV a gross infringement of liberty. Luke Akehurst offers a timely reality check from Hackney's housing estates.

2 comments:

Toby said...

That's not a reality check. Whilst housing estates blighted with petty crime often do call for CCTV, the assumptions that the CCTV will displace this activity is often misguided. I know this to be true because I introduced CCTV on a housing estate after a similar request in my locality.

Subsequent meetings with residents, together with the police, showed that some troublesome residents were able to be moved on as a result (drug dealers), but that over all crime rates remained pretty static.

Crime elsewhere in the Ward increased however, because drug users need to rob to feed their habits, cameras or not, but they're not daft and will always target non-CCTV areas first.

By all means say that people want CCTV, all the evidence shows that this is true. But do not make claims about CCTV's efficiency at doing the job it is purported to do, because all the evidence is against that notion.

Obviously if a camera is installed in a lift, the phantom dumper is unlikely to want to be on film in action, as it were. If I were to be filmed at work I would also stop picking my nose!

The question isn't whether CCTV reduces crime where it exists, it's whether we want CCTV to overlook everything we do, legal or otherwise. Because we already know that CCTV doesn't reduce crime in the round, even with a camera for every 14 people.

So you're either advocating total CCTV oversight, or conceding that the policy is fatally flawed. Which is it?

Zokko said...

You know something? I can't wait for the Tories to get back into power. Cheap petrol, zero crime, no C.C.T.V., no taxes, no spin, no political correctness, it sounds like Utopia! Of course David Cameron will fulfill his amazing promises. Er, he will, won't he?