back to article Cops admit CCTV no use in deterring drunken violence

Forests of CCTV cameras in the UK's town centres have failed to have any impact on anti-social behaviour, an ACPO official told the House of Lords Constitution Committee yesterday. Graeme Gerrard, head of CCTV at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said cameras did a good job deterring crimes like theft, for example …

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Anonymous Coward

And of course

them getting collared and cautioned adds one to the stats

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Anonymous Coward

doesn't make you safer

but it makes it easier to put people away and distrobute fines once they've sobered up and thought "geez I was a twat last night"

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Meanwhile out in the countryside..

...cCTV cameras are mostly deployed to spot attack on speed cameras.

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Black Helicopters

mandatory prison sentence

maybe if violent crime carried a mandatory prison sentence then people would think twice.

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Joke

Who'd win then?

A bunch of piss-head louts or the Sally Army?

You could even watch it on the community CCTV cameras.

Who says they're good for nothing?

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Flame

When they *are* caught.

They are invariably let off with a caution or bailed so they can go and kick some poor bastard to death.

The one thing these dirtbags value more than anything is their "street cred". How they are 'respected' by their peers and feared by others. Asbos and cautions just add to their credibility.

Therefore, the best punishment is one that makes them look as stupid and pathetic as possible.

So, dress 'em in a frilly ballet tu-tu, parade 'em around the town they caused grief in, then give 'em a public caning.

Would it work? Maybe, even if it didn't it would give the law abiding majority a bloody good laugh at their expense, and it can't be any *less* effective than the 'punishments' handed down by the woolly minded, fluffy bunny, liberals that run this f'ing country at the moment.

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> put them away / mandatiory prison sentence

Put them away where?

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@Oliver Steiber

That wouldn't make a h'appeth of difference; drunken twats are not thinking rationally at all, so delayed consequences don't even surface for consideration in their pea-like brains.

The only thing being processed at the time of the drunken violent bahaviour is "Am I going to get my head kicked in here?".

Ergo, give the police BIG sticks, and beat the crap out of the little f*ckers, it's the only thing they understand.

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"the contribution to crime investigation"

Well, duh! You can see someone giving another person a kicking so you know there's a crime being committed. You need that before you can investigate.

However, you can't see who it was clearly enough and your monitoring station is miles away so it doesn't help you either stop it or prosecute it.

But you DO know about it.

Weasel words? Weasels would be ashamed of a sentence like that...

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Bleeding Obvious

CCTV cameras are useless for reducing anti-social behaviour unless:

1. Someone is monitoring the things in real-time

2. There is enough police manpower to respond - quickly!

Maybe put the CCTV feeds on the web - then anyone interested can keep an eye on what's going on - and maybe go and join in the rumble if they feel like it ;-)

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Meanwhile, back in the real world

On the occaisions when CCTV footage is needed to make a case against a criminal, we find the vast majority of footage is too low a quality to show "beyond reasonable doubt" that it is the accused (ask your local magistrates)

Why can't we just dump the pointless CCTV and hire a few more coppers with the money we save?

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perhaps

If the video quality of these cameras was high enough to actually identify somebody after the fact, other than general build and clothes, so that they could be arrested, it might make a difference. At the moment it relies on somebody monitoring the cctv, seeing an attack and dispatching the police who, hopefully, will arrive in time to intervene. If they actually manage to catch them in the act, this can then be backed up by some low definition grainy footage of exactly what happened if it goes to court.

The sheer number of cameras out there makes me doubt the effectiveness of the monitoring though, its just not possible to constantly watch that many video feeds, no mater how many people you have.

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Alternate uses

..which is why a lot of CCTV cameras which were justified on grounds of crime prevention are now bieng pointed at bus lanes and honey-trap parking spots to screw the motorist.

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Pirate

You have 20 seconds to comply!

Why not fit the CCTV's with minigun turrets?

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time to bring back the old traditions

throw em in the stocks!! BURN THE WITICH!!! BURN THE WITICH!!! BURN THE WITICH!!! BURN THE WITICH!!! BURN THE WITICH!!! BURN THE WITICH!!! BURN THE WITICH!!!

.....er sorry about that, I don't know what came over me.

actually I've just thought of a bit of a problem with locking people in the stocks!!

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Black Helicopters

Not the Point

CCTV is not there to catch criminals, it is the forebearer of CCTV in your street (for your safety), then in your home (sorry what have you go to fear, are you a paedo or something??).

Tin foil hats everyone

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Coat

@JimC

Australia? By Coracle?

That would prove how hard they are....

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Put the CCTV feeds on the web (or cable)

Haven't they done that (or at least, put them on the local cable TV) in one London borough, with some degree of popularity and maybe even success? It's even been reported somewhere here on El Reg. After all, it couldn't be any worse than Nutz TV could it?

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Coat

@Nic Brough

We can't dump it because the right honerable Suchandsuch's mate who makes the cameras would not be making as much money!

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Spinnery

'Gerrard insisted that the proliferation of CCTV cameras in public spaces was being driven by local communities, or rather local authorities and other public agencies.'

For which the Home Office makes available seemingly endless amounts of public money.

This is government policy.

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And in other news...

Gordon Brown is Prime Minister.

Pope admitted, "Yes, I am Catholic."

Bear says, "Mind where you walk in the woods, I did it over there."

Any more stories of the completely obvious you want to tell us about?

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simple solution

make people drink proper drinks and ban alcopops and alike. These things are full of mind bending E numbers and sugars. They mess with your mind on a far higher level than, say ale or whisk(e)y.

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My chirstmas eve

This year walking back from the pub on chirstmas eve we stopped and watched a series of 10 or so fights in about 20 minutes out side a pub (yes on christmas eve).

We saw the CCTV camera turn round to see them and within 5 minutes the Police had turned up in force and with dogs.

I think the CCTV spotted what was going on (nobody seemed that bothered about stopping the fighting). If the police hadnt have turned up the fighting would have gone on and on I'm sure. So in this case it did stop some fights from happening.

We stood at a safe distance and watched the festivities. Poor cops didnt see to happy about having to come out.

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Silver badge

Nothing

deters a drunk from anything. If they are eventually caught and prosecuted make 'em wear sandwich boards with the words:

"I am an absolute twat, I get pissed and hurt people, I get pissed and smash up my own surroundings. I have no respect for anything except that what my warped upbringing and my equally sick and twisted peers have taught me to respect. Basically I am one sad little muthafu*ker. It is partly the fault of my parents, but it is I who should bear the majority of responsibility and the associated shame for my actions. My name is Joe Soap and I live at 21 This Street, Newtown, Somewhereshire. My telephone number is 123456789"

written in fluorescent clear type.

we need a noose icon.

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@AC

"So, dress 'em in a frilly ballet tu-tu, parade 'em around the town they caused grief in, then give 'em a public caning."

If you think that would deter them, you've never seen a 20-something fancy dress party, or a hazing ritual. Youths, certainly British youths, have a very strong sadomasochistic streak.

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Stop

Simple solution...

In my opinion, alcohol is a major root of evil.

From violent crime, vandalism, wife beating... The list goes on.

Make holding a driving licence mandatory (even if its provisional) to prove your age. Nothing else will be accepted to purchase alcohol. Possibly add a chip to store how much alcohol you can consume. If you are a drunk lout, your card gets barred or limited.

Make the alcohol manufacturers partially responsible financially for damage, injury and death as a result of drinking. Doesn’t sound fair, but they create the Alco-pops targeted at kids!

I’m getting older and more grumpy every day!

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Paris Hilton

@mandatory prison sentence

This never worked even in Victorian times.

No chance it will work today. You are offering them a "holiday break" financed by public money.

I have so far seen only one "punishment" to deter drunken crime.

Anyone caught shitfaced beyond recognition faces mandatory toxicology assessment followed by reporting the fact that you have been documented to have a serious substance abuse problem to the employer. From there on it is just a standard gross misconduct and/or "putting the company into disrepute" case.

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Graeme Gerrard, 2001

"We welcome this additional investment in CCTV.

"When cameras are properly targeted, they can deter offenders, reduce the level of crime and increase the feeling of safety for those using our public spaces."

Graeme Gerrard, Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) spokesman on CCTV issues and Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary (and Misguided Fool), 2001

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@Risky

With CCTV cameras wathing out for vandalisation of speed cameras, how long will it be until those CCTV cameras are being monitored?

Reminds me of the Infinite Cat Project http://www.infinitecat.com/infinite/cat1.html

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Unhappy

Last time I looked...

Last time I looked it was the responsibility of the Pub/Bar/Nightclub owners to ensure their patrons don't get drunk.

We have a nightclub near to where I live, covered by cameras, and within weeks of it opening someone got stabbed and the police were "appealing for witnesses". The student night (£1 a drink) and dress-up nights are the biggest cause of violence and bad behaviour. Cars, signs, windows, fences etc are regularly vandalised and the police only have 2 units to cover the area (a large chunk of Cornwall).

The only REAL solution has been for locals to take matters into their own hands. The police can't stop it because there's someone kicking off 8 miles away, even though the station is only half a mile away. Why? Because despite being the largest town in the county, the station is only open during normal business hours.

See someone smashing up your car? Dial 999 and tell them in no uncertain terms that you're going to go out there and sort them out. There will be a cop car there in minutes to make sure you don't beat the crap out of someone. Trust me - it works.

Problem is, a) the courts won't take a case if the cost of the damage/theft/etc is less than £50 and b) the court wants multiple witnesses. So if you're the only one to witness a crime and the tw*t says he didn't do it then all the police will usually do is take their name and address. The notable exception is if there is physical evidence, for example broken glass. Most morons don't realise when you break a glass window you are showered in microscopic fragments of glass. Even so, if the tw*t has a social worker then don't expect him to have to pay for anything. That's what your insurance is for. :o(

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CCTV

CCTV works when there is a control centre which monitors the cameras, and then can dispatch the (limited numbers) police to the scene of trouble. This of course means there still need to be enough police at least 2 minutes or closer to the scene of trouble. Unfortunately CCTV is now sued to gather evidence after the fact, rather than to prevent the fact.

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Coat

Hmmmm...

"Make holding a driving licence mandatory [...] to prove your age"

Why not substitute the words "driving license" for "ID card"?

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Anonymous Coward

Pubs

Why not make pubs back into places adults can go and enjoy themselves ?

No kids, allow smoking (if the landlord permits it) and you might see a lot less trouble from teenagers. But I forget, all this hassle is just the New Labour way of shutting pubs down forever. Work and home are the only places they want us to be - actively producing and passively consuming.

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@ Pub

"No kids, allow smoking (if the landlord permits it) and you might see a lot less trouble from teenagers."

18 and 19 year olds (who are legally adults) are the only teenagers allowed into pubs and they only make up a small fraction of the clientele. Are you seriously suggesting that they are the only ones causing trouble?

You can be a wanker at any age and people don't suddenly stop being wankers on their 20th birthday.

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Happy

because...

{ "Make holding a driving licence mandatory [...] to prove your age"

Why not substitute the words "driving license" for "ID card"?}

Because you won't want to loose your driving licence :O)

and the PC parade don't want 'ID cards' although We already carry lots of them! so make better use of the ones we already have.

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@John

"Make the alcohol manufacturers partially responsible financially for damage, injury and death as a result of drinking"

WHy stop there lets make they auto makes responsible for car accidents no mater. Because some is a twat, misuse my product in a way that breaks the law I'm at fault. Thats just stupid .

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Pirate

@Anton Ivanov

"Anyone caught shitfaced beyond recognition faces mandatory toxicology assessment followed by reporting the fact that you have been documented to have a serious substance abuse problem to the employer. From there on it is just a standard gross misconduct and/or "putting the company into disrepute" case."

You are of course assuming that they have a job. I'd bet that most of the drunken chavers you see rolling around the street on a Friday and Saturday night don't have a job or don't have one that they care about.

Personally I'd like to see them all castrated before they've had the chance to breed (which is by 14 years old in most cases) - it's the only way to make sure.

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CCTV can be useful

CCTV won't prevent the violent behaviour that occurs in most towns on a Friday night.

However, Sheffield City council streams their traffic camera output to the web.

This provided incredibly useful information during and immediately after the floods

enabling me to estimate what routes were open and whether sites were accessible

without putting myself at risk or in need of the already stretched emergency services.

L.

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Anonymous Coward

More government control needed!

After outlawing self defence, the scofflaws have only gotten more aggressive?

Say it's not so!

The threat of being recorded not enough to stop drunken crowds of youths from curbstomping a hapless passersby, perhaps allowing their victims a reasonable means of self defence once more. "Jumping up and down" hasn't worked either, unless you can run faster than that rabble.

So perhaps a Glock 19 would. It would also deter young thugs from shooting people for their fancy cell phones. Bobbies are too heavy to carry, and quite frankly it's no comfort to the victim's family to watch their loved one's last moments on CCTV.

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Anonymous Coward

@kain preacher

but a car can also be used to transport someone between two places.

there arent many uses for pub drinks except to fry your brain. well, infact i cant think of any other uses.?

oh, maybe you could use one as a projectile in a fight, or as a kind of shank.

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Mike

Frankly, if you drive in a bus lane, you deserve everything you get. Where do people get this odd idea that "motorist" should mean "person allowed to break whatever laws he likes and get away with it on the basis of half-assed 'everyone else is doing it' self-justification"?

Actually, enforcement of not-driving-in-bus-lanes (and high-occupancy lanes) is one of the few *sensible* uses of CCTV I can think of. Easily the most cost-efficient way to scupper those arseholes who think that owning a car gives them a God-given right to screw with the transportation needs of others (who are satisfying them in a far less selfish manner, too).

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A mix of solutions?

My tuppenceworth on solutions that could work (mostly based around reducing supply):

Raise drinking age to 21. Impossible?, well, they've raised the age of smokers in Scotland to 18.

Massive extra police presence in city centres Thurs / Fri / Sat / Sun paid for by a levy on the pubs / clubs. The police have a zero-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour & the publicans either raise their prices or go out of business.

Ban sale of alcopops and the cheap industrial alcohol masquerading as high strength cider / fortified wine entirely.

Reduce the number of licences available to supermarkets.

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Pirate

Stick em all in....

The army, where battle hardened sgts will beat the living out of them with big sticks.

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Coat

Of course if the 'Government' had everything their way...

Britain would be the first police state without any actual Police anywhere to be seen

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Alert

Perception != reality

CCTV does not really discourage pissed crims. It does however give the hand-wringing populace some warm fuzzy feeling that they're being protected.

From the perspective that they make the citizens feel safe, CCTV works.

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Paris Hilton

@Karl Lattimer & ElFatbob

Seconded (or thirded, I suppose...) on the "get rid of alcopops" idea. While too much alcohol can lead to a proprensity for violent behaviour, alcohol plus a suger rush is 10 times worse.

But then where do you draw the line? a ban on Vodka and Cola? No cocktails? Just allowing straight spirits/wine/beer? How about getting rid of the not-even-drain-cleaner quality drink?

CCTV should be upgraded with decent cameras so that they can be used in court. That way, they'd actually be useful stopping thieves. Not as good as more beat cops, but still useful.

Paris icon because of her frequent resemblance to a world where CCTV has stopped drunk theft; our streets would be drunk and nicker-less.

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Battle Royale

I say give them 3 chances (yes i know thats incredibly lenient but i doubt there's a person here who hasnt done at least one thing stupid when drunk) except with violent behaviour (if your violent straight on the boat!) ship them to some remote uninhabited shetland/orkney island & make them fight it out ala Battle Royale, etc. Last man standing gets to return to the mainland.

Would quickly reduce the number of violent drunks out there and people doing stupid things whilst drunk and make the rest of our lives a hell of a lot better. (and it would reduce the cost of maintaining prisons!)

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Joke

Pubs liable

The weird thing is that this problem is a British one, nowhere in the world do you have this kind of problem - maybe because in other countries, the pub is liable and gets the shit! They are not allowed to serve you up to a certain point, when you start looking a bit tipsy, they stop serving you booze .... and no way can you get another glass ...

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@AC

The idea that 20-somethings in Europe spend their evenings sipping wine slowly and talking about art is bollocks. I'm not sure I've ever drunk more in one night than when I went out with friends in Europe. The European way is drinking strong lager in small glasses and being continually refreshed by waiters, and it's a recipe for getting very drunk very fast without knowing you're doing it. None of the waiters even hesitated to keep serving us. If we'd started causing trouble or vomiting on their property I expect we would have been ejected, but I doubt that even in the worst nightclub in Britain you could get away with that without being taken outside and taught a lesson in decency by the bouncers.

Needless to say, none of us did cause trouble either there or on the way home because none of us were of that temperament, even sans inhibitions.

I'd like to see alcopops disappear, probably just like everyone else apart from those who drink them. Oh, and rapists. Nonetheless, it's their right to drink what they want. They don't go around trying to ban ale because they find it warm and sludgy, so I don't go around trying to ban what they like. If it causes them to assault somebody, prosecute them for assault. I fear authoritarians and their useful idiots trying to ban everything far more than I fear some gently swaying yob shouting incomprehensible obscenties at me on the way home.

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Go

My tuppence worth

I think that it would be very interesting to put feeds from all the street CCTV cameras on an internet site and publicise it.

Six billion people from around the world potentially emailing and ringing up the authorities every second saying "There he goes! Look, he's over there! Wait, now he's there!"

Six billion potential witnesses to crimes on our soil, six billion potential eyes scouring the 'great unwashed' for signs of dubiousness.

Oh, and I want all convicted paedophiles and rapists shot dead.

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