Posted: Wednesday 1st July 2015
If only community safety was simply about solving crime and punishing offenders. In reality, we know that it’s a lot more complex than that and one of the biggest challenges we face is reducing people’s fear of crime. This often bears no correlation whatsoever to actual crime figures or the threat that exists within a neighbourhood.
I know that a uniformed presence within our communities is a factor in promoting confidence and reassurance among the public as well as deterring offenders. But there are other really effective ways, including the use of CCTV cameras and Neighbourhood Watch, to provide a watchful eye over day-to-day life.
In Calverton, local police, community protection managers and parish councilors have recently been on a walk-about of the area to decide the optimum location for a new CCTV camera, which has been funded by Gedling Borough Council. The new camera, which will be positioned in a prominent location close to shops and amenities, is a welcome addition to the local community and sends out a reassuring message to residents that the area is being watched round the clock to help protect people. Such a security message might encourage vulnerable members of the community who are currently too fearful to leave their homes to venture out under the protective glare of this device.
In these increasingly difficult financial times, we need to embrace technology as much as possible to increase our capacity to deter and fight crime. This particular scheme has been made possible by the close partnership between local police and Gedling Borough Council – a shining example of what can be achieved by working together.
CCTV, in the right location, reassures the public that they can go about their daily activities with confidence and it also sends out a clear message to would-be offenders that their behaviour is likely to be captured and recorded.
CCTV footage serves as a valuable evidential tool, especially in cases of antisocial behaviour which can be difficult to prove or identify perpetrators. These cameras are monitored at strategic times of the day in a local monitoring suite. If criminal activity is seen, operators can direct police to the incident immediately, enhancing the response.
Make no mistake about it, those who continue to cause damage and inflict violence and fear in the area will be caught and prosecuted using the full arm of the law.
Police and Crime Commissioner