The Home Office has been recently citing a review of published academic studies on Closed Circuit Tele Vision (CCTV).
Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker even managed to use the word "privacy" in the same breath as "CCTV", which may be a first for a Labour Home Office Minister, or it may just be more NuLabour Orwellian newspeak re-definition of a common English word, to have virtually the opposite meaning.
House of Commons debates
Monday, 18 May 2009
Oral Answers to Questions -- Home Department
Christine Russell (Chester, City of, Labour)
Most people find the presence of CCTV in their neighbourhoods reassuring, and most police officers find them very helpful in assisting the detection of crime and the reduction of antisocial behaviour. However, there is also a strong view out there that they can result in a real invasion of an individual's personal liberty. Has the Department commissioned, or will it consider commissioning, a fully independent survey of the effectiveness of CCTV cameras?
Vernon Coaker (Gedling, Labour)
My hon. Friend has raised an important point about the balance between the rights of the individual and the protection of the community. The Home Office is examining the way in which we manage CCTV systems throughout the country, and also the possibility of establishing a national CCTV board.
According to a recent report from the Campbell Collaboration crime and justice group, CCTV has
"a modest but significant desirable impact on crime".
Title Effects of closed circuit television surveillance on crime (.pdf)
Institution The Campbell Collaboration
Authors Welsh, Brandon P. Farrington, David C.
No. of pages 73
Last updated 2 December, 2008
The report says that it is most effective in reducing crime in car parks and targeting vehicle crime, and that it is more effective in reducing crime in the United Kingdom than in other countries. I think that that is an endorsement of CCTV, but we must of course consider the impact on the privacy of the individual as well.
Of course the Home Office has actually commissioned research as far back as 1993, which also concluded that Car Parks (with improved Lighting) were where there was the only demonstrable Crime Reduction effect of CCTV.
This research has obviously been ignored by the Conservative and Labour politicians in power and by Home Office policy makers ever since.
Understanding car parks, crime and CCTV: evaluation lessons from safer cities (.pdf)
Author:: Nigel Tilley
Crime Prevention Unit Series Paper No. 42
Home Office, Policing and Reducing Crime Unit
Research, Development and Statistics Directorate
Publication Date: 1993