Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Crime: CCTV question
There was a short debate in the House of Lords yesterday regarding CCTV.
It started with a question from Lord Craig of Radley: "To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the value of closed circuit television in fighting crime and securing convictions of offenders."
Lord West of Spithead - formerly the First Sea Lord (when this picture was taken) and now Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office - replied that CCTV was known to work but the new CCTV regulator, Andrew Rennison, would be examining the evidence base.
Lord Craig asked about recent media reports (see below) which claim that the number of crimes solved in London due to CCTV had fallen from one in two to one in seven. "Does the remit of the new national CCTV oversight body have any regard to the cost-effectiveness and value for money of the considerable number of CCTV systems installed at great expense by Her Majesty's Government?"
Lord West replied: "...from April 2007 to March 2008, CCTV was used in 86 out of 90 investigations of murder and helped to solve 65 of them. The camera footage captured crime taking place or was used to track movements of suspects. In a third of those cases, witnesses were able to identify the murderer from it."
Later in the debate, Lord West mentioned he had conducted a private little survey of his own on the London Tube regarding CCTV. You can read the Press Association's write up here.
I can recommend the Lord's discussion - it's not long and it's very informative. It's here.