LETTER: Cameras fighting crime in Newcastle, not just snooping

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The Independent Online
KENAN Malik's account of the CCTV system recently installed to protect people living in the West End of Newcastle caused amazement and disappointment to the staff here ("How Hayley keeps the Scrotes in their place", 3 September).

The camera system now established was installed after widespread public consultation and agreement. To suggest that it might be used for irresponsible snooping is outrageous and in direct conflict with the guidance and instructions for this or any other CCTV operation in the Northumbria Police area.

We are proud of our record with CCTV, which has helped reduce crime in this densely populated part of the North-east for over three years. Your article seems designed to alarm members of the public and cast doubt on police monitoring standards.

D J Mellish

Deputy Chief Constable, Northumbria Police

Newcastle upon Tyne