'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.


Suggested Topics
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home