It has long been the contention of Big Brother Watch that CCTV cameras do not reduce crime, and many believe their use in monitoring vehicle-based crimes serves only to raise finances for local councils. Recently revealed evidence from Westminster is yet more proof of these ideas.
A CCTV camera in the Westminster area of London actually increased its monthly revenue this year from January until May. Despite the camera on Harrow Road raising around £20.000, the number of parking fines issued went up from 60 to 98. The entire justification for CCTV monitoring of parking violations is to reduce infractions, so when it fails to fulfil the main role it is set, alternative methods must be attempted.
Queen’s Park Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, said:
…Shopkeepers are currently being badly affected by the CCTV camera and trade is down. The CCTV camera is having no impact on compliance and traders are suffering but the Council say that the CCTV camera will not be re-located. I calculate that the Council has collected almost £20,000 in fines from this camera since it was installed, showing clearly that income generation is more important to the Council than protecting residents from anti-social behaviour or the livelihoods of local shopkeepers.”