“You can’t just stick up cameras and expect everything to change for the better.”

05 Oct 2011

“I think there is often a tendency in security technology procurement – and military procurement too – where the thinking starts with, ‘we’ve got this amazing new technology, what can we use it for?’. And certainly in the early days, people were commenting upon CCTV as ‘a cure looking for an illness’. Instead, I think we’ve got to begin with an effective problem analysis. What problems are our priorities and how can we go about solving them?” Being interviewed is Professor of Criminology and Public Policy at the University of Brighton (UK), Peter Squires. “As far as CCTV goes, I think the introduction of it in town centres was very much influenced by major retail, banking and insurance priorities, who were only too pleased to take the CCTV subsidies paid by the British government to promote safer town centres – effectively ‘safer shopping, safer consumerism’. So it was also a question of urban reinvestment and renewal, but the policy was often dressed up as crime control but it’s always much more than that.”

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