Everyone wants – and needs – CCTV
I reply to the letter by Oliver Healey concerning "Our surveillance society is wrong" (Mailbox, October 27).
I couldn't disagree more with his comments.
Ask victims of crime, in particular street violence, if they were glad their assailants were captured on CCTV.
Read recent stories in the Mercury where people who plotted a fire for an insurance scam were captured in the area afterwards – unfortunately one person involved was killed.
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On the thisisleicestershire website enter CCTV and look at the images released to try to identify people suspected of various offences.
Look at Crimewatch on TV and look at the success CCTV has in helping to capture those responsible for crimes.
How many assailants have denied offences or given "no comment" interviews until confronted with hard evidence of CCTV images of their wrongdoing?
If you, Mr Healey, were a victim of crime and the perpetrator was unknown to you, would you not be glad of CCTV assistance?
Do these images not help portray the effect of serious street assaults on victims – nobody can deny what they see is wrong, fabricated or otherwise. In other words the camera doesn't lie.
More than a third of people say their support for the use of CCTV surveillance in public places has increased following the summer riots of 2011, a survey showed.
Three-quarters of people feel safer in public areas knowing CCTV is in operation, two-thirds would like to see more CCTV in their area and seven in 10 would be worried if their council reduced CCTV coverage, the survey of more than 2,000 adults found.
In all, some 94 per cent of those surveyed backed the police using CCTV footage to identify those involved in the looting and disorder which swept through English cities in August 2011.
In the past, there has undoubtedly been public apprehension about the use of CCTV, but it appears people now recognise the positive role it can play within their community.
I totally disagree with the statement in your letter that surveillance is doing nothing to tackle terrorism or criminality. Where have you been? Of course it does.
I think the majority of people feel somewhat safer that certain areas have CCTV coverage. After all, if you do nothing wrong, what have you got to be concerned about?
Your movements are tracked every day by other means – mobile phone, use of bank cards, etc. So why just pick on CCTV?
Just one other matter: in your letter you refer to "the reliance of CCTV for crime prevention needs to be reversed in favour of visible deterrence in the form of more plain-clothed store detectives".
What visible deterrent is a plain-clothed store detective?
How can the cost of CCTV pay for more police on the beat instead?
When you have a mass disturbance, the police can only physically detain so many people at any one time and process them.
CCTV allows the capture of evidence, the later identification and then planned arrests after the event. Who needs it? Everyone.
R Coles, Blaby.