Wall to wall CCTV. Security? Surveillance? None of the above? Cui bono?

Thanks to Kate Beecroft for the CCTV questions, generating surprising answers. It seems that despite CCTV cameras springing up like mushrooms, apparently de rigeur, the latest urban must-have, we don’t really know how effective they are or to what extent they have been helpful in crime prevention or detection. It almost appears that vandalism in the Rose Gardens was reason enough to spawn a CCTV viral epidemic. I’m certain we can rest assured that CCTV is an integral part of all the recent, ongoing and future urban refurbishments.  Why?

Recap: The Chief Constable has told us that we live in a safe place. Low crime rate. High detection rate. Surely the envy of many cities. Yet, many European cities, which haven’t yet caught the British surveillance bug, continue to operate without collapsing under the weight of crime and vice. Which surely prompts the question: Why is the Isle of Man spending so much money on surveillance equipment? If this is a safe place – which it undoubtedly is – and we are not being spied on (some report extremely poor quality CCTV images)  – this leaves only one further possibility: Cui Bono? Who benefits? Who profits from this massive installation of unnecessary and, arguably, unwanted surveillance equipment? Now that’ s the answer we really need. Mrs Beecroft, would it be possible to obtain the answer to this question? That would surely be of interest to us all.

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5 comments on “Wall to wall CCTV. Security? Surveillance? None of the above? Cui bono?

  1. Leader of Douglas Borough Council, David Christian, stated on Manx Radio’s ‘Mannin Line’ (30.10.10) that the Council was going to spend £400,000 on 60 CCTV cameras!

    In the recent Budget debate Mr Christian expressed his support for the use of CCTV cameras in Douglas – he was responding to critical comments from Councillor Kissack.

    On January 13th 2012 the Minutes of the Special Policy and Resources Committee (Budget Meeting) of DBC state:

    1.1.4 (k) CCTV – Infrastructure Improvements (Phase 2): (i) that it be noted that the installation of CCTV at Noble’s Park was the top priority; and (ii) that it also be noted that The Treasury had confirmed a contribution of £90,000 from the Seized Asset Fund towards the provision of a control room, a report on which would be presented tom the Chief officers’ Team shortly.

  2. Prisons even open prisons are choc-a-bloc with cctv cameras but does that make them safer better places to be? It is the people that determine this not cameras.

    Are we drifting into making our town something akin to an open prison?

    I do not believe this is being driven by the politicians or the people, so who gets the benefit?

    • You don’t believe it is being driven by the politicians or the people? You don’t think it could be the advisors, do you? How would we know? No FOI. No way of tracking these things? Of course we can still ask questions……

  3. Double standards seem to apply with Douglas Borough Council.
    It wants to ‘spy’ on the citizens, but won’t allow the public to ‘spy’ on it.

    Extract from Standing Orders

    53 Attendance of the Public and Press

    The admission of members of the public and reporters to the Council Chamber shall be subject to the condition that no expression of dissent or approval, conversation or interruption to the proceedings of the Council shall take place nor shall any person, other than a person authorised by the Council, record on tape or by other mechanical means the proceedings of the Council, or record photographic or electronic images of such proceedings. In the event of the breach of this condition, the Mayor may order the person so offending to be removed from the Council Chamber.

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