Sunday, 18 March 2012

CCTV Is Not A Must

Extract from a letter published in the Paisley Daily Express, dated 16 March 2012

I write in response to Douglas Alexander’s column from the PDE dated 29 February 2012 (“CCTV System is a Must”).

In his argument, Douglas puts the case for a CCTV system to be installed at Skye crescent shops. This is seen as a pressing concern at the Skye Crescent shops rapidly escalating reputation for attracting anti-social behaviour. However, there is at no point an explanation as to how the installation of an expensive CCTV system would help the people of Glenburn.

The issue Mr Alexander does not address is that of displacement. When CCTV systems are set up, there is a deterrent effect in the area that the CCTV cameras operate. However the anti-social behaviour moves elsewhere. Mr Alexander pinpoints that “The cameras in Braehead Road have made a difference”. What has happened is that the groups of teenagers and young adults congregate in other places. For example the waste ground between Glenburn Road and Glenfield Road has seen a steady increase of teenagers.

Taxpayers money would be better spent on more effective initiatives, targeted police patrols being one such example. One initiative could be to try and find something for young adults to do – maybe some sort of sports club. Whatever the initiative, continued ignorance of the “tough on the causes of crime” bit of the famous sound bite is at fault for Glenburn, and Paisley’s, ills.

Mr Alexander is right, actions not words are needed for Glenburn and for Paisley. Unfortunately all we have had from council administrations of both colours is lots of hot air and lots of inaction.

1 comment:

Stuart Winton said...

Good letter Allan, CCTV is just a sticking plaster and typical of the practical application of crude soundbite politics.

Not saying CCTV doesn't have its place, but it's usually analysed a bit too superficially.