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CCTV 'crucial' to crime fighting

04/12/2009

A number of reports into the provision of CCTV across Scotland have been published.

Published by the Scottish Government and Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, the reports provide the first ever comprehensive picture of public space CCTV across Scotland as well as recommendations for improvement and future use of CCTV.

Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said that CCTV helps reassure communities that crime is being detected - and that criminals are being prosecuted.

Mr Ewing said:

"This Government believes that CCTV systems can play a crucial role in the prevention, detection and, as recent high profile court cases have shown, the prosecution of crime. We recognise the importance of ensuring that such systems are working as effectively as possible - that is why we carried out this review and why we wanted to get an accurate picture of their provision right across the country.

"Now that we have this information, I will establish a working group of key practitioners and professionals to take forward the recommendations of the strategic report. That group will help us shape the direction of national public space CCTV policy in Scotland to ensure that CCTV can continue to play an effective role in tackling crime and antisocial behaviour in our communities and reducing the fear of crime."

Solicitor General, Frank Mulholland QC said:

"CCTV has proved to be invaluable in the prosecution of crime. Recent examples of the use of CCTV evidence in the most serious of crimes have included the prosecutions of Christopher Miller for the racist murder of Kunal Mohanty, of Marek Harcar for the murder of Moira Jones, and of Vitas Plytnykas for the murder of Jolanta Bledaite. The evidence provided by CCTV footage in these cases, and in a broad range of other cases, has played a significant part in bringing the offenders to justice."

Assistant Chief Constable Ruiradh Nicolson, ACPOS lead on Community Safety said:

"Police forces see CCTV as integral to their efforts to prevent and detect crime. We look forward to contributing to efforts to further improve its effectiveness."

Councillor Harry McGuigan, COSLA's Community Wellbeing and Safety spokesperson said:

"CCTV is an important tool in the detection, deterrence and prosecution of crime in our local communities. This report provides a useful reference for taking forward the development of CCTV."

Three reports on CCTV have been published today. The first, published in association with the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, is a 'landscape' survey which provides a comprehensive picture of public space CCTV provision across Scotland; the second is a strategic report containing recommendations around improving the use of CCTV; and the third is a review of published evidence regarding the impact of CCTV on crime.