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C.C.T.V. surveillance


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 weren’t busy zooming in on people’s bedrooms instead as reported several times in the local papers. There have also been reports of Bexley’s cameras missing criminal acts (including rape) because they were too busy checking their car park for motorists who hadn’t 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 Labour’s candidate in Crayford for the 2010 General Election discusses Bexley’s CCTV system here.

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