England has for the longest time been held up as the beacon of police action through CCTV even though more than one study has proven the benefits to be doubtful. In a move to make England the most watched over society they have spent over £500 million in the last decade but that may all be for naught since they can’t find the money to man the watch stations.
Worcester City is one of the one’s that it can no longer afford the £140,000 a year that is need to pay people to watch for crimes to happen. As a result entire networks of cameras are being put on auto-pilot with the police examining the video after the crime has occurred on the off chance something useful might turn up.
Simon Geraghty, leader of Worcester City Council, said: ‘There has been an agreement between the city council and West Mercia Police that we fund the operatives and we have to give them at least 12 months notice.
‘They (West Mercia Police) have said they do not want to fund this but it is a burden we can no longer support.’
But the move has angered police who say that it will be more difficult to detect and convict criminals without the support of the CCTV operators.
Chief Supt Reynolds, south Worcestershire’s head of policing, said: ‘It’s like having an automatic car without a driver.
– source: Daily Mail
Not to mention the police would actually have to do proper police work. Except the problem there is that because of the investment in Big Bother the police don’t have the same manpower.