Uneasy about CCTV in Marlborough

Written by Gerald Payne on .

I read with growing unease your article on the introduction of CCTV onto Marlborough's historic streets. This town should celebrate that it does not have cameras snooping on its citizens 24/7

You quote inspector Ron Peach as saying

“It is well documented the deterrent effect that CCTV has in reducing crime and social disorder for fear of being caught and also the evidence of culpability after the event.”

This is not true. If people refer to this site - http://www.no-cctv.org.uk/caseagainst/reports.asp - they will see that the case for CCTV is far from proven. Spur of the moment social disorder is not prevented by the presecence of CCTV. I know of a case where someone was assaulted and the perpetrator was caught but the crime was not prevented. In these circumstances all CCTV does is to enable the police to decrease their prescence on the street whilst claiming good clear up rates. Not much comfort for the person assaulted.

Counsellor Fogg referred to "emotional counter arguments existing on what others have described as a “Big Brother” approach." These arguments are not purely emotional. In fact it could be stated that the pro CCTV is using emotional arguments when conjuring up huge gangs of shop lifters and pick pockets descending on the town in order to scare people into blind acceptance of cameras.

Notice it was Waitrose's introduction of security guards which reduced theft not the cameras. Similarly it would be community bobbys on the beat that would reduce the occurrence of crime, not cameras on lamp posts.

In the end, to quote from no-cctv "better community reduces crime, not technology".