Would more CCTV prevent crime?

By Linus Rees

I took a call earlier today from a local businessperson who wanted to organise a petition for more CCTV cameras in the Rathbone Street area. The caller’s concern was that recently he’d heard of a break-in at a neighbouring shop — a hair salon — and also a number of people who had had their bags pinched at the local pub. He’d also had his bicycle stolen.

I’ve witnessed a few smash and grabs — usually happening on Sunday night and early Monday morning. A couple of guys will turn up on a stolen scooter, smash a window and make off with the goods.

Would CCTV prevent that? What use would it be? The perpetrators are wearing helmets and they are on stolen bikes. How does this help the police I asked the caller?

The bag snatches have apparently been from people who’ve had a little too much booze. They get a bit careless. I told the caller that I’d little sympathy with people who couldn’t look after their belongings after a few drinks. Should the police really be examining film footage to help people who can’t look after their own personal possessions because they’ve had a few too many drinks? Don’t the police have better things to do with their time? Bag snatch crooks know this. Isn’t it time the public boned up to it too?

CCTV is not the answer for a lot of this crime. Commonsense and sensible crime prevention is what is needed.

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