Mixed reaction to CCTV plan

PUBLISHED: 09:00 28 September 2012

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Archant

PLANS to install CCTV cameras across a Weston estate have been met with caution by residents who say they could deter crime but invade people's privacy.

Alliance Homes revealed plans earlier this month for a scheme, run in conjunction with the police, to install cameras on the Bournville estate.

A spokesman for Alliance, which is putting in £20,000 of funding, says the exact number of cameras is yet to be confirmed but is likely to be three or four, depending on the tender secured by North Somerset Council.

The cameras will be fitted onto poles put up for mobile cameras several years ago.

Allan Richards, chairman of the Bournville Area Residents’ Association, said: “The problem with CCTV is that it often just moves the trouble somewhere else.”

Shane Edwards, community warden for Alliance Homes, said: “From our point of view, we have had two bins burned out in the past fortnight. If it’s a CCTV zone, it will probably cut down on the problems. I am all for it. They do work, no doubt about that.”

Ian Parker, North Somerset councillor for South Ward, said: “I have very mixed views about CCTV cameras in general. About five years ago I went on the record about CCTV cameras to say they are purely cosmetic because whenever there is a crime they are pointed the other way.

“On the other hand, I understand the value of using CCTV cameras. For example, if you are trying to catch a murderer, there is a chance they could walk past the camera and look at it.

“But it could cause an invasion of privacy. Just because someone up the road has been involved in a crime, for the rest of the street to be placed under surveillance could invade people’s privacy.”

He also said the cameras could themselves be put under threat, adding: “One word of caution - when the mobile camera was first put up a pole was erected. That same night a man went along with an angle grinder and cut it down.”

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