The residents of Hednesford are understandably apoplectic this week after it was revealed in a council annual meeting that the yearly bill of £25,000 for CCTV in the area had failed to secure even one conviction all year.
Councillor Doris Grice said:
“There is crime in the town. Some weeks ago, two or three shops had their windows smashed, but the cameras don’t seem to catch them.”
There was also concern that some cameras are now surveying a secure building site as the town centre is currently being re-developed, costing the council money while the developers contribute nothing towards the CCTV.
However, some council members considered the failure to secure any convictions to be proof of their success. Despite CCTV being the single most expensive cost for Hednesford Council, Councillor Bob Todd claimed:
“There have been very, very few - if any - convictions from them, but they have been a deterrent.”
Councillor George Adamson agreed:
“Cameras are a deterrent - no doubt about it. They do make people feel safer.”
This is ridiculous beyond belief. Proponents of CCTV cannot praise cameras for their high rates of convictions while simultaneously praising others for deterring crime to the point where no convictions occur.
The truth is the £25,000 spent annually on these useless, intrusive cameras should be spent on frontline policing which local communities are crying out for. The Chief Executive of Cannock Chase District Council, Stephen Brown, is currently undertaking a review of CCTV across the area including Hednesford. Hopefully he will see sense and remove the cameras.