So while redundancies and reduced government services are being discussed it seems that money for CCTV is always available. Indeed, we are told that the installation of CCTV at Noble’s Park was top priority in the infrastructure improvements. And no-one finds this odd?
Apparently, we don’t even keep stats on the effectiveness of CCTV surveillance. Therefore, we are unaware of any real benefits. Yet we are willing to pay out five and six figure sums to ensure that it is included in all “improvements”. Beyond belief? Why on earth would anyone wish to spend so much money on something while being unable to justify its value? There may be anecdotal evidence but that is simply not sufficient to validate the argument for the enormous sums of money required to purchase this equipment.
It also leaves us wondering why seemingly intelligent people would commit so much of our money to this questionable practice. Why do they believe it to be so important? Have persons unknown been responsible for disseminating the belief that CCTV is of the utmost importance? Or is it possible to name these persons? It should be. After all, they are responsible for ensuring that taxpayers’ money is spent on surveillance equipment, while being unable to supply sufficient evidence of just how beneficial CCTV has been in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.
I seem to recall that Douglas was planning CCTV for which it had insufficient funds and therefore felt it should turn to government for assistance – so that it could be funded by all of us? Isn’t there something very strange about all this? Is it really so essential – even if we don’t have the money for it? Cities such as Amsterdam with its red light district and coffee shops aren’t equipped with the level of surveillance that the IOM can boast. Has there been a public outcry demanding island-wide CCTV coverage? Why then the obsession with the surveillance equipment?
We need to know who is recommending this and whether this person, or persons, have any connection whatsoever with CCTV supply or installation. No, it’s not paranoia. It’s your money they are spending, and at a time when government is radically downsizing. Why not ask your MHK why CCTV is considered to be of such importance in our low crime area. These are not allegations, they are simply questions. Government transparency is essential. We need to know who is recommending the installation of CCTV, and why?
Does this come back to Eddie Lowey’s retracted Tynwald questioning with regard to the interests of ministerial advisors? Essential information, I would suggest. And the media coverage of this topic? Where is it?