A brand new Â£1m state of the art CCTV control room and system has been unveiled in the Welsh capital this week. Senior officers from South Wales Police are obviously very pleased with the latest weapon in their armoury in the fight against anti-social behaviour and crime in the capital and have been quoted as stating that it ‘will help the Police catch more criminals’.
The system now produces a 9 frame per second product rather than the 1 frame per second footage of the old system, therefore giving far higher quality.
‘Great News’, I hear all of you capital city dwellers and frequenters cry! ….. Don’t I? Apparently not all of us are totally in favour of the Police having access to more and better quality cameras. I listened as one young lady on the Welsh News claimed that it was out of order and against our precious ‘civil liberties’.
The person who made that comment has obviously, fortunately for her, never been the victim of crime. Not all are so lucky. Many, many people visit Cardiff every week, so many that it is apparently taking over from Dublin as the Mecca for Hen and Stag Parties. Some of these visitors will inevitably become the victims of crime.
Whether the CCTV system is old or new will not change this fact. But what it hopefully will change, now the system has been updated, is that a larger percentage of the victims will have their cases prosecuted on the weight of the CCTV evidence.
I do not wish anyone harm but I often wonder if the politically correct would change their view if they, or a close member of their family were to become another statistic in the crime figures. I don’t know, maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t.
The whole argument takes me back to the core problem and the degenerative disease that the country as a whole, not just Cardiff suffers with, crime and the reluctance by a small percentage of the public to allow the Police and authorities the tools available to tackle it.
We have become a society which likes to be seen to be ‘fair to all’. Well, who is fair to the elderly lady who has her bag snatched on the way from the Post Office having collected her pension? Who’s being fair to the builder who has had the tools of his trade stolen from his van whist he works? I’ll tell you who, the operators who sit in front of those new CCTV monitors in Cardiff City Hall and the others around the country who do the same.
They redress the imbalance!
Am I, as an ordinary person going about my business, concerned with being on CCTV? No I am not because I am going to do nothing wrong! Do I think that the CCTV operators are going to be following MY movements around the city centre? No I don’t because watching me eat my McDonalds or carrying my shopping bags I am sure will be quite boring! I will not be doing anything wrong. I have made this point in previous articles in relation to Human Rights and the like, CCTV, is the same, it needs to be feared only by criminals.
Some will say that the country would be a far better place to live were CCTV coverage more comprehensive. They will say that we should not be able to walk from the confines of our own private property without being in an area covered by CCTV.
Do I agree with this view? Yes, in fact I do. Consider this, people who commit all degrees of crime do not want to get caught! The elderly lady walking home with her pension is far less likely to be robbed if her route is covered by CCTV. The builder’s van is much less likely to be broken into if it is parked in an area covered by a camera.
So join the debate, but please apply this thought. What is more important to you, the civil liberties of a minority or your safety and that of those you love?