Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Residents of Birmingham voice support for cameras

It's perhaps too early to declare that all residents of Sparkbrook and Washwood Heath in Birmingham support the controversial installation of CCTV cameras in their area, but according to the Birmingham Mail, police received a favourable response to the cameras in a walkabout yesterday.

Residents are quoted as saying they support the idea of cameras but they were angry at the way they were installed without consultation.

A snippet from the article:

They [the police] were met with a chorus of support for the cameras but anger at the way they were installed.

Riaz Mohammed is a member of the British Pashtun Council, made up of Pashtun people originally from Afghanistan and Western Pakistan.

He said: “I personally am in favour of them.

“If someone is going to commit a crime we’ve a better chance of catching them.

“What annoyed me was the fact we were not consulted.”

I'm not surprised that residents are rallying behind the cameras. I said before that I thought it was a vocal minority who were making the most noise about this. Surely it's time to move beyond this knee-jerk civil libertarian response to all CCTV cameras and judge them for what they are: one tool among many in the crime and disorder toolkit.

The solution to crime and disorder shouldn't start with the assumption that CCTV will be installed. Rather the social, historical and criminological profile of an area should be carefully studied and if CCTV is appropriate, it will be part of a suite of measures aimed at containing the problem as well as addressing the underlying causes of crime.

~Posted by: Tom Reeve