C.C.T.V. gets a mixed reception. Some senior policemen have
gone on the record to say that the surveillance society does very little to
reduce crime, but on the other hand I have my own cameras, with 24 hour recording
faciliies, overlooking all the doors to my house and mine is the only one in
the road not to have suffered a break in. Whether C.C.T.V. can be trusted must
depend to a large extent on who operates the system.
Long term Bexley residents may remember that it was the traders in Bellegrove
Road, Welling who funded and organised the C.C.T.V. system there with the
intention of providing a safer environment for shoppers, but Bexley council soon
offered to take over the system and immediately used it to persecute motorists
and so drive the shoppers away - when they werent busy zooming in on peoples
bedrooms instead as reported several times in the local papers. There have also
been reports of Bexleys cameras missing criminal acts (including rape)
because they were too busy checking their car park for motorists who hadnt paid the evening fee.
As is so often the case with the law in this country, it assumes the law
enforcement agents are beyond corruption, but nothing could be further from the
truth. We have policemen involved in murder and council officers who exceed
their powers daily. One thing that intrigues me is why I should be tracked by
various cameras when on my way to collect a newspaper at 8 a.m. on a Sunday
morning. The only people out at that time on a Sunday morning are dog-walkers
and old men out to buy their News of the World. Who are we being protected from?
The cameras shown were replaced by covert dome cameras in November 2009.
Howard Dawber who was Labours candidate in Crayford for the 2010 General Election discusses Bexleys CCTV system