Are Council and Police Funding Cuts Crippling CCTV?
Just a quick one today, as I thought I’d highlight & share a great article on by the BBC that I’m sure lots of you guys will find interesting. In a detailed report for their magazine section entitled “The end of the CCTV era” they go into detail about how the post-austeritylocal council and police funding cuts have resulted in a slew of cutbacks to public CCTV monitoring across the country. Examples include forces in Denbighshire, Powys, Derby and even metropolitan Birmingham, where CCTV cameras will no longer have round the clock monitoring.
Forces understandably face pressure to make savings, with a significant weight of cuts falling on their unprotected budgets. To many forces, the “back room” CCTV expense is an easy target to axe when compared to front line assets- they need to keep the bobbies on the beat! Unfortunately though, forces across the country have increasingly been relying on CCTV as one of the primary ways to gather evidence, with an astonishing 95% of Scotland Yard’s murder convictions using some form of video evidence. Proponents of cutting back CCTV- including many privacy advocates- point to the studies that suggest it has little effect on crime statistics on a city wide level, but there is much less information on how beneficial it is to conviction rates. In addition there is solid evidence that it definitely helps cut down crimes against property such as car theft and vandalism.
One thing is for certain though- the fewer police run CCTV systems are in operation, the more police and victims will have to rely on privately operated home and business security systems to gather evidence.
So…an understandable necessity of our national belt-tightening, or a shortsighted budgeting exercise- what do you think? Get in touch to let us know!