An internal report released by the Metropolitan Police under Freedom of Information laws has revealed that fewer than one crime is solved by every 1,000 closed circuit television cameras per year. Thats a lot of cameras for not very much.
And yes its a pretty shocking waste of money that could have been spent better elsewhere (or better still been in our own pockets). And yes we are way too spied upon, with 1% of the world population and 20% of all cctvs. And yes its laughable that the Home Office have defended the use of CCTV’s, saying cameras could “help communities feel safer”…… But in reality that’s old, if still troubling, news.
What worried me was the part under a section headlined “Strategic Issues”, where it said: “Potential change of Government – the Conservatives are not CCTV friendly – we need to start showing that we are targeting serious crime.”
So if I get a knife put to my face in the street this evening – that somehow the nine cctvs on my 4 minute walk to the newsagent miss – are the police going to take it even less seriously than they did last time (and trust me that would be pretty difficult even for them)? Answer would appear to be, yes.
Depressingly here we have another organisation that is clearly intending to spend the next 9 months focusing on ways to “meet targets” and win over politicians, rather than get on with the job of policing the streets and solving crime. Call me old-fashioned but I liked it when the BBC did good tv programmes, doctors did medicine and police did crime-prevention. I dont see how any of them have the time to do their day job if they are all going to be spending the next nine months trying to second guess what the next Government (most likely a Tory one according to the Met police you’ll note) wants.
Tighten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy ride! Oh and be careful when you’re out and about on the streets – and if you do become a victim of crime, best make sure its a “serious” one if you want anything done about it.