CCTV - why is this still being debated?

Written by Gerald Payne on .


I read with alarm your recent report about the council's indecision over the CCTV project.  My alarm is centered around why this project has not been kicked into touch long ago.  

As Police Inspector Mark Thompson stated, Marlborough town center is not a high crime area.  In fact it is one of the safest in the country.  

One of the reasons given for installing CCTV cameras is because of drunken anti-social behaviour in the early hours of the morning.  CCTV is not the answer to this.  Policemen doing their job is what is wanted here and some responsibility from the establishments making a profit from the sale of alcohol.  If a few licenses were removed they may take a different attitude.

You see measures already exist.  Another reason for the desire, it seems, especially by the chamber of commerce is to prevent or solve shoplifting.  Well here I ask why should the tax payers of Marlborough be effectively giving a handout of around £20,000 to business owners who should take responsibility for the security of their own premises?  If they want to display items in order to tempt people to buy them then maybe it is no surprise if those without the means to buy take them.  It is after all only a reflection of the criminality at the topmost levels of this current society.  I have no objection to any store taking whatever security measures it deems necessary to prevent shoplifting, but at their own expense.  Too often in this society costs are socialised, i.e. we all pay them; and profits are privatised, i.e. corporations and business owners take them.

It seems strange does it not that some councillors who protest at other spending on services in the town are being so cavalier when it comes to spending our taxes on CCTV with no proven record of preventing crime, except perhaps in car parks?   Even to the extent of discussing a rise in the Council Tax precept to cover extra costs.

Marlborough has something to be proud about, it's citizens do not have to face having their every move followed by some panopticon security state apparatus, it has not joined the CCTV bandwagon, it is an independent thriving community with no need of big brother


Gerald Payne