Secret cameras in ‘blighted’ streets

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by

SURVEILLANCE cameras are set to be drafted into town centre troublespots.

CCTV equipment will be temporarily installed in streets blighted by arson, theft and graffiti as part of a major overhaul of central Swindon’s CCTV network.

Five wall-mounted “overt” cameras and several hidden recording devices will be in place by March 2010.

Swindon Community Safety Partnership also aims to have a central hub controlling 40 town centre cameras in place by that date.

CCTV in the town centre is currently controlled by several different organisations, including Stagecoach bus company, the Brunel Centre, InSwindon, Swindon Council and Wiltshire Police.

Richard Palusinski, the head of community safety for the partnership, said: “The new system won’t be a case of Big Brother watching you – it is to tackle issues of crime and disorder in the town while making residents and shoppers feel safe.

“It’s a sensitive subject as there are people who feel that CCTV is intrusive, so it is getting the balance right so surveillance is effective against crime without intruding on law-abiding visitors to the town centre.”

The partnership is in talks about potential hotspots to be covered by cameras.

He said: “These area may be parts of the town that are heavily affected by violent crime, graffiti or purse dippings and aren’t covered by sufficient surveillance.

“It may be that Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have had a spate of fires started in a particular area and CCTV may be a solution to further incidents.”

Surveillance controllers are now in talks about who will be responsible for the central control facility.

Mr Palusinski said: “The amount of money that will be spent on updating the network will be far outweighed by the savings that will be made by having one central control room instead of having to communicate with several different agencies.

“It may be that Government funding means the project will be cost neutral to Swindon.

“If all goes to plan I hope the project will be complete by the end of this financial year in March 2010.”

The group can also install secret cameras in areas blighted by violent crime.

The five overt’ cameras can be bolted on to a building to cover the area for whatever time is thought necessary while an undisclosed number of hidden cameras can be used if there is a serious threat to life or well-being, he said.

For security reasons the location of the CCTV control room will be kept secret.

Comments (18)

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11:21am Sat 22 Aug 09

silvergran says...

Good - all those people who worry about big brother always watching them will probably have a moan. If you haven't anything to hide, why worry about being caught on camera! If it helps catch the perpetrators of criminal acts, that's a good thing.
Good - all those people who worry about big brother always watching them will probably have a moan. If you haven't anything to hide, why worry about being caught on camera! If it helps catch the perpetrators of criminal acts, that's a good thing. silvergran
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Sat 22 Aug 09

BWB says...

silvergran wrote:
Good - all those people who worry about big brother always watching them will probably have a moan. If you haven't anything to hide, why worry about being caught on camera! If it helps catch the perpetrators of criminal acts, that's a good thing.
I Quite agree with you silvergran.

Those who are Law-Abiding should welcome the fact that some-one is watching out for their safety.
[quote][p][bold]silvergran[/bold] wrote: Good - all those people who worry about big brother always watching them will probably have a moan. If you haven't anything to hide, why worry about being caught on camera! If it helps catch the perpetrators of criminal acts, that's a good thing.[/p][/quote]I Quite agree with you silvergran. Those who are Law-Abiding should welcome the fact that some-one is watching out for their safety. BWB
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Sat 22 Aug 09

Bobfm says...

Agree with both posts. Let's just hope the pictures are used to good effect and someone actually gets prosecuted if caught.
Agree with both posts. Let's just hope the pictures are used to good effect and someone actually gets prosecuted if caught. Bobfm
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Sat 22 Aug 09

Mr Blackwell says...

More of our money poured into measures to catch criminals who then end up being let off by our deluded judges.
Seriously, until we see some wholesale reform of the judiciary, what's the point?
More of our money poured into measures to catch criminals who then end up being let off by our deluded judges. Seriously, until we see some wholesale reform of the judiciary, what's the point? Mr Blackwell
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Sat 22 Aug 09

OldTownTerry says...

Unfortunately you also have to consider the people who monitor these cameras who have been known to have used the system to their own personal advantage e.g. blackmail, bribery and personal satisfaction.
Unfortunately you also have to consider the people who monitor these cameras who have been known to have used the system to their own personal advantage e.g. blackmail, bribery and personal satisfaction. OldTownTerry
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Sat 22 Aug 09

gonefishin says...

Oh please, not the hoary old "nothing to fear" nonsense! For centuries the English have been able to go about their lawful business without being spied upon and should be able to continue so to do!

CCTV is a complete cop-out. It absolves the police from doing their job, which is the protection of people, property, and the prevention of crime. There should be police officers on the beat, not miserable cameras which invariably capture nothing but blurred images of hooded unidentifiable yobbery and are only ever viewed *after* the event. CCTV prevents nothing and is nothing but the last refuge of an inept police force whose role is reduced to 'picking up the mess.' Demand police on the streets preventing crime, not cameras taking pictures of it.
Oh please, not the hoary old "nothing to fear" nonsense! For centuries the English have been able to go about their lawful business without being spied upon and should be able to continue so to do! CCTV is a complete cop-out. It absolves the police from doing their job, which is the protection of people, property, and the prevention of crime. There should be police officers on the beat, not miserable cameras which invariably capture nothing but blurred images of hooded unidentifiable yobbery and are only ever viewed *after* the event. CCTV prevents nothing and is nothing but the last refuge of an inept police force whose role is reduced to 'picking up the mess.' Demand police on the streets preventing crime, not cameras taking pictures of it. gonefishin
  • Score: 0

12:12am Sun 23 Aug 09

itsamess says...

With 40 cameras already in place the obvious question is why are they not already in the trouble spots? Which ones and what operators have been in breach of our human rights? This new move can only result in less Police on our streets--they will be reliant on cameras which have not reduced crime.
With 40 cameras already in place the obvious question is why are they not already in the trouble spots? Which ones and what operators have been in breach of our human rights? This new move can only result in less Police on our streets--they will be reliant on cameras which have not reduced crime. itsamess
  • Score: 0

9:56am Sun 23 Aug 09

bilzinusa says...

Yet MORE cameras for "safetown" Swindon ..eh ?

Concerned citizens and diffident officials might like to peruse the following official statistics before labelling this "green and pleasant" land of ours law abiding and "safe".

# 6 United Kingdom: 85.5517 per 1,000 people
# 8 United States: 80.0645 per 1,000 people
# 11 Germany: 75.9996 per 1,000 people
# 14 France: 62.1843 per 1,000 people
# 19 Italy: 37.9633 per 1,000 people
# 28 Spain: 22.8867 per 1,000 people
# 45 Greece: 9.6347 per 1,000 people
These figures represent the total amount of crimes committed per 1000 head of population...not good ..is it ?
Yet MORE cameras for "safetown" Swindon ..eh ? Concerned citizens and diffident officials might like to peruse the following official statistics before labelling this "green and pleasant" land of ours law abiding and "safe". # 6 United Kingdom: 85.5517 per 1,000 people # 8 United States: 80.0645 per 1,000 people # 11 Germany: 75.9996 per 1,000 people # 14 France: 62.1843 per 1,000 people # 19 Italy: 37.9633 per 1,000 people # 28 Spain: 22.8867 per 1,000 people # 45 Greece: 9.6347 per 1,000 people These figures represent the total amount of crimes committed per 1000 head of population...not good ..is it ? bilzinusa
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Sun 23 Aug 09

itsamess says...

Bilzinusa

Yes good figures and this is Swindon--the town of half empty shopping areas--high unemployment--empty office blocks---half empty trading estates--demolished and derelict buildings--rampant crime and police who can only deal with crime they can issue fixed penalties--all in all we must conclude that there are serious problems here with no sign of improvement
Bilzinusa Yes good figures and this is Swindon--the town of half empty shopping areas--high unemployment--empty office blocks---half empty trading estates--demolished and derelict buildings--rampant crime and police who can only deal with crime they can issue fixed penalties--all in all we must conclude that there are serious problems here with no sign of improvement itsamess
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Sun 23 Aug 09

PK says...

Mr Blackwell wrote:
More of our money poured into measures to catch criminals who then end up being let off by our deluded judges.
Seriously, until we see some wholesale reform of the judiciary, what's the point?
Absolutely spot on.

What we need is proper deterrents and the punishment fits the crime which has not been happening for a long time hence the high crime rate per capita of population compared to other countries.

First thing to do is scrap the HRA. It only benefits criminals. Second thing to do is, as has been said, put more police on the streets - and I don't mean PCSOs.

If there were proper deterrents, there would be no need for CCTVs, or at least not as many as we have now.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Blackwell[/bold] wrote: More of our money poured into measures to catch criminals who then end up being let off by our deluded judges. Seriously, until we see some wholesale reform of the judiciary, what's the point?[/p][/quote]Absolutely spot on. What we need is proper deterrents and the punishment fits the crime which has not been happening for a long time hence the high crime rate per capita of population compared to other countries. First thing to do is scrap the HRA. It only benefits criminals. Second thing to do is, as has been said, put more police on the streets - and I don't mean PCSOs. If there were proper deterrents, there would be no need for CCTVs, or at least not as many as we have now. PK
  • Score: 0

3:31pm Mon 24 Aug 09

Home Boy says...

“It’s a sensitive subject as there are people who feel that CCTV is intrusive, so it is getting the balance right so surveillance is effective against crime without intruding on law-abiding visitors to the town centre.”

And secret cameras help with this balance then do they?

itsamess - "rampant crime"

Seriously, lets not get too carried away here. It is still a fact that Swindon has one of the lowest crime rates of any urban area and a much lower rate than any of the nearby large towns / cities.
“It’s a sensitive subject as there are people who feel that CCTV is intrusive, so it is getting the balance right so surveillance is effective against crime without intruding on law-abiding visitors to the town centre.” And secret cameras help with this balance then do they? itsamess - "rampant crime" Seriously, lets not get too carried away here. It is still a fact that Swindon has one of the lowest crime rates of any urban area and a much lower rate than any of the nearby large towns / cities. Home Boy
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Mon 24 Aug 09

Captain Sensible says...

You'd have thought that with 40 plus cameras spying on us in Swindon the place would be very safe, but it isn't, and they never seem to be able to identify anyone from cctv recordings, so my point is, why are we wasting money on this nonsense, scrap the lot and use the money saved to put a couple of extra proper bobbys on the beat, now thats an idea isn't it?!
You'd have thought that with 40 plus cameras spying on us in Swindon the place would be very safe, but it isn't, and they never seem to be able to identify anyone from cctv recordings, so my point is, why are we wasting money on this nonsense, scrap the lot and use the money saved to put a couple of extra proper bobbys on the beat, now thats an idea isn't it?! Captain Sensible
  • Score: 0

5:35pm Mon 24 Aug 09

itsamess says...

home-boy

If you study the crime figures which hide the truth--we are close to the top of real detected crime (solved)--which removes the FPN which are detected and solved at the same time by default.
home-boy If you study the crime figures which hide the truth--we are close to the top of real detected crime (solved)--which removes the FPN which are detected and solved at the same time by default. itsamess
  • Score: 0

8:06pm Mon 24 Aug 09

bilzinusa says...

Only one crime was solved by each 1,000 CCTV cameras in London last year, a report into the city's surveillance network has claimed.

The internal police report found the million-plus cameras in London rarely help catch criminals.

In one month CCTV helped capture just eight out of 269 suspected robbers.

ooer !
Only one crime was solved by each 1,000 CCTV cameras in London last year, a report into the city's surveillance network has claimed. The internal police report found the million-plus cameras in London rarely help catch criminals. In one month CCTV helped capture just eight out of 269 suspected robbers. ooer ! bilzinusa
  • Score: 0

11:58pm Mon 24 Aug 09

itsamess says...

A primary consideration of these cameras could be the recent legislation which allows camera evidence to be used to issue FPNs--so yet again just another revenue collection device to summon our symbolic police officers with ticket books in hand ready to fine the paper droppers--spitters and other such crimes while the real criminals are laughing all the way to the next drug fix--armchair policing.
A primary consideration of these cameras could be the recent legislation which allows camera evidence to be used to issue FPNs--so yet again just another revenue collection device to summon our symbolic police officers with ticket books in hand ready to fine the paper droppers--spitters and other such crimes while the real criminals are laughing all the way to the next drug fix--armchair policing. itsamess
  • Score: 0

9:32am Tue 25 Aug 09

Home Boy says...

itsamess wrote:
home-boy

If you study the crime figures which hide the truth--we are close to the top of real detected crime (solved)--which removes the FPN which are detected and solved at the same time by default.
So you're saying that even though we have a very low crime rate our police are doing an exceptional job in solving crimes? Even more reassuring! As far as I'm aware FPN's aren't issued for the crimes that people are scared of, namely murder, rape, burglary, etc. We are at or near the bottom of the league table in all of these categories.

Anyway, this makes interesting reading, as bilzinusa has already mentioned:

http://news.bbc.co.u
k/1/hi/england/londo
n/8219022.stm
[quote][p][bold]itsamess[/bold] wrote: home-boy If you study the crime figures which hide the truth--we are close to the top of real detected crime (solved)--which removes the FPN which are detected and solved at the same time by default.[/p][/quote]So you're saying that even though we have a very low crime rate our police are doing an exceptional job in solving crimes? Even more reassuring! As far as I'm aware FPN's aren't issued for the crimes that people are scared of, namely murder, rape, burglary, etc. We are at or near the bottom of the league table in all of these categories. Anyway, this makes interesting reading, as bilzinusa has already mentioned: http://news.bbc.co.u k/1/hi/england/londo n/8219022.stm Home Boy
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Tue 25 Aug 09

itsamess says...

No Home Boy

What i am saying is FPNs are widely used for a wide variety of offences that are recorded as crimes and solved--disguising the true figures of real crime. It simply says our police are too busy revenue collecting to tackle the real crime. As the police retain a part of that revenue we would expect that to allow more officers to be recruited to tackle real crime. The Council plays a big part in that too as they have responsibilities to tackle unsociable behaviour and dictate policy. Take a look on the Councils website at the code of conduct for councillors-it suggests police are part of the council?
No Home Boy What i am saying is FPNs are widely used for a wide variety of offences that are recorded as crimes and solved--disguising the true figures of real crime. It simply says our police are too busy revenue collecting to tackle the real crime. As the police retain a part of that revenue we would expect that to allow more officers to be recruited to tackle real crime. The Council plays a big part in that too as they have responsibilities to tackle unsociable behaviour and dictate policy. Take a look on the Councils website at the code of conduct for councillors-it suggests police are part of the council? itsamess
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Tue 25 Aug 09

Home Boy says...

itsamess wrote:
No Home Boy

What i am saying is FPNs are widely used for a wide variety of offences that are recorded as crimes and solved--disguising the true figures of real crime. It simply says our police are too busy revenue collecting to tackle the real crime. As the police retain a part of that revenue we would expect that to allow more officers to be recruited to tackle real crime. The Council plays a big part in that too as they have responsibilities to tackle unsociable behaviour and dictate policy. Take a look on the Councils website at the code of conduct for councillors-it suggests police are part of the council?
To be fair I completely agree with that, FPN's are turning our judicial system on its head. ANPR, CCTV and the like are having the same effect, it's so easy to employ automated policing if you need to boost your detection stats. However, that is in no way specific to Swindon. I've recently also lived in Coventry and Nottingham where the situation is much worse with fixed and mobile speed cameras everywhere and FPNs being issued for all sorts of "offences". Is it surprising that since employing this technique Nottingham has now become the country's most dangerous place to live?
But that doesn't cover up that fact that people on here make Swindon out to be crime hotspot of the UK, when in reality we're pretty much the safest large urban areas in .
[quote][p][bold]itsamess[/bold] wrote: No Home Boy What i am saying is FPNs are widely used for a wide variety of offences that are recorded as crimes and solved--disguising the true figures of real crime. It simply says our police are too busy revenue collecting to tackle the real crime. As the police retain a part of that revenue we would expect that to allow more officers to be recruited to tackle real crime. The Council plays a big part in that too as they have responsibilities to tackle unsociable behaviour and dictate policy. Take a look on the Councils website at the code of conduct for councillors-it suggests police are part of the council?[/p][/quote]To be fair I completely agree with that, FPN's are turning our judicial system on its head. ANPR, CCTV and the like are having the same effect, it's so easy to employ automated policing if you need to boost your detection stats. However, that is in no way specific to Swindon. I've recently also lived in Coventry and Nottingham where the situation is much worse with fixed and mobile speed cameras everywhere and FPNs being issued for all sorts of "offences". Is it surprising that since employing this technique Nottingham has now become the country's most dangerous place to live? But that doesn't cover up that fact that people on here make Swindon out to be crime hotspot of the UK, when in reality we're pretty much the safest large urban areas in . Home Boy
  • Score: 0

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