'More support' for CCTV after riots

 

More than a third of people say their support for the use of CCTV surveillance in public places has increased following the summer's riots, a survey showed today.

Three quarters of people feel safer in public areas knowing that CCTV is in operation, two thirds would like to see more CCTV in their local area, and seven in 10 would be worried if their local council reduced CCTV coverage, the survey of more than 2,000 adults found.

In all, some 94% of those surveyed backed the police using CCTV footage to identify those involved in the looting and disorder which swept through English cities in August.

Scotland Yard alone is releasing 20 new CCTV images every day in a bid to trace those involved and has more than 100,000 hours of CCTV footage to view.

Giving evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said he was shocked at how many of those involved in the riots were "casually indifferent to CCTV filming them".

"We're managing to catch an awful lot of them because they made this blithe assumption that you go and steal a TV set after smashing a window and you'll get away with it.

"I think it's terribly important you don't get away with it."

He added he was shocked by the "completely irresponsible feckless reaction" from those caught up in the disorder.

"I was slightly shocked that so many people just casually took to thieving, sometimes very violent thieving, just because the opportunity presented itself and the excitement ran and so on," he said.

Azadar Shah, managing director of surveillance firm Synectics which commissioned ICM to carry out the survey, added that the high-profile role of CCTV footage in the investigation was having an impact on public opinion.

"In the past, there's undoubtedly been public apprehension about the use of CCTV, but it appears people now recognise the positive role it can play within their community," he said.

But Nick Pickles, director of the campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: "The riots ended once and for all the myth that CCTV prevents crime.

"It was useful in bringing some rioters to justice, but that is little comfort to the businesses destroyed or families left homeless.

"People might be misled into thinking they are safer with CCTV but police figures show it solves a tiny fraction of crimes.

"The general public are far more concerned about how the police prevent crime and protect our safety, and wasteful surveillance is a drain on the resources that could be deployed on the streets."

:: ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,027 adults aged 18+ from its online panel between September 30 and October 2 2011.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links