Local Lib Dems Call for Rethink of Crime Reduction Methods

Cllr Rayner: Figures suggest surveillance society isn't workingLocal Liberal Democrats have called for Britain’s ‘Surveillance Society’ to be curtailed.

The campaign comes after figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats under the Freedom of Information Act suggested that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of CCTV cameras than in those boroughs with less surveillance technology.

Waltham Forest, one of the 5 boroughs in London with under 100 CCTV cameras, secured a ‘clearup’ rate in line with the national average of 20%.  Nearby Tower Hamlets, meanwhile, returned similar figures despite having nearly ten times as many cameras on their streets.

London’s 10,000 CCTV cameras are estimated to have cost the taxpayer nearly £200 million, yet 81% of Leyton and Wanstead residents participating in a survey conducted by the Liberal Democrats suggested that they still felt unsafe after dark.

The figures appear to confirm research by the crime reduction charity NACRO, who claim that greater investment in alternative measures such as extra street lighting would be more effective in tackling criminal behaviour.  95% of local residents also wanted more police on the streets, whilst 77% backed greater night patrols.

Liberal Democrat  councillor Keith Rayner (Cann Hall) said:

“These ‘clearup’ figures suggest that the ‘surveillance society’ we are living in isn’t helping in the fight against crime.

“We need to think again to ensure that we are implementing the most effective methods for tackling criminal behaviour.  Residents have told us that they want to see police officers and wardens on their streets.

“Whilst CCTV has a part to play, the sense of security that visible street patrols give residents is crucial.

The plea for a revision of current crime prevention tactics comes after the Liberal Democrats pledged to ‘roll back’ what Cllr Rayner called an “erosion in the liberties of the British people”.

“This Government has given the state unprecedented powers to invade the lives of its citizens.  The Liberal Democrats are committed to the immediate repeal of the Identity Cards Act, the destruction of all DNA samples taken from those not charged or convicted and a greater regulation of CCTV”

Leyton and Wanstead Crime Survey Results:

Q1: Do you feel more or less likely to be the victim of crime?

More:  62%
Same: 31%
Less:  5%

Q2: Do you feel safe after dark?

Safe: 15%
Unsafe: 81%

Q3: Have you been the victim of crime, or no someone who has?

Yes: 61%
No: 33%

Q4: Do you support LD plans to abandon ID Cards and put more police on the streets?

Yes: 75%
No: 20%

Q5: What are your priority areas for policing?

Night patrols: 77%
Shopping areas: 41%
Open spaces: 27%

Q6: Should residents have more say in policing?

Yes: 89%
No: 6%

Q7: Should residents have the power to close pubs and clubs?

Yes: 92%
No: 5%

Q8: Are there enough police on patrol?

Yes: 2%
No: 95%

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