CCTV’s effectiveness

An interesting article on CCTV from the BBC.

Whilst back home for two weeks over the summer, I was shocked to see CCTV cameras absolutely everywhere, compared to when I left in 2002. I found myself wondering about the cost involved and their effectiveness.

I don’t mind the odd camera here and there, but I found their new omnipresence a little unsettling.

There’s a small shopping centre near my parents’ house. When I was younger I used to try and avoid that particular area, as it was a bit run down with local yobs hanging around – if you locked your bike up to use one of the shops, you couldn’t be sure it would be there when you got back.

The area now has a CCTV camera watching over it. Over the last year or two, the precinct seems to have attracted a fair amount of investment, with a German delicatessen, Italian ice cream cafe and some much smarter shops there than before. Even the fish and chip shop’s* pretty decent.

Does the camera’s presence have anything to do with this, scaring off the local hoodies, or is this just economic regeneration which would have happened anyway?

* The fish and chop is run by some Kurdish people. Prior to that, it was Chinese owned. I bet you the owners before that were Indian or Vietnamese, then Greek or Turkish Cypriots, with the first owners being British. Interesting how you can chart immigration trends in Britain by who runs the local chippy. I didn’t check, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the supermarket around the corner had a large Polish section 🙂

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One Response to “CCTV’s effectiveness”

  1. Seabee Says:

    Today’s Daily Telegraph has a story on the subject. The Met say "Fewer than one crime is solved by every 1,000 closed circuit television cameras" and that "Each case helped by the use of CCTV effectively costs £20,000 to detect"

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