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From Paul Clark

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The trendy photo shop near the hat shop had its window boarded up today. What are the police doing. Do we need more CCTV?

From Cllr James Baker

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I don't know what has happened to the window. I don't think that more CCTV will help though, The Campbell Collaboration report commissioned by the Home Office reviewed 44 studies and came to the conclusion that CCTV had little impact on crime in Town/City centres.

In my view what is important is protecting the neighbourhood policing teams locally.

From Jim M

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The cameras seem to have been very effective in helping identify looters and rioters. The job would have been much harder, and public concern about the effectiveness of our justice system greater, if those involved and caught by CCTV had 'got away' with their crimes.

Time I think for the Coalition to drop its plans to 'regulate' CCTV - and ironically add further regulations to burden us when another cornerstone of their policy approach is to cut red tape.

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 18 August 2011

I suppose Cllr Baker thinks he is being clever pulling out a study that suggests CCTV isn't effective. The study may be right but he might like to consider that many of the convictions of the idiots who looted our cities were thanks to crystal clear CCTV images.

It may be an infringement of the civil rights of the poor misunderstood looters who come from deprived backgrounds therefore they can do what they want, but thank god we had it in place in London and Manchester.

I was merely wondering if a couple of CCTV cameras on Market Street would deter - or help catch/convict - the morons smashing windows in the town but maybe it won't work.

I had hoped Cllr Baker might rise above his party's obsession with facing both ways on any issue. He issues a plea to protect community policing, yet he is a member of a party supporting police cuts that - according to a study by Cardiff University - will result in the loss of 16,000 front line officers. See, it's not hard to google a study to support an argument.

So Cllr Baker wants community policing but ignores the Police Federation - not a very lefty organisation - who says the cuts his party supports will make it impossible to police riots or even the leafy streets of Hebdenshire

It's no wonder his party is sinking into political oblivion. One of my daughter's apolitical mates said to her, 'what is the point of Nick Clegg?' Judging by Cllr Baker's contribution the same applies to his party.

From Cllr James Baker

Friday, 19 August 2011

I want people to be safe, as a previous victim of violent crime, I know the trauma stress and hurt that it causes. If CCTV is demonstrably not cost-effective then I'd rather our limited resources are spent on something that is, and I think that is community policing. I'm not doing this because I think I am clever, but because I care.

It is my belief that effective community policing should be protected from the cuts, and that is what my party has been doing here in Calderdale. I wish the economic situation was different, but Brown gave all of our money to the bankers and left the nation with a crippling deficit, so you have to fight to try and protect what you think is most important, and that is what I do. I hold my head up high Paul and do what I believe is right.

I'm glad that CCTV has helped catch some people involved in the riots, but it didn't help prevent the riots occurring. Perhaps if some of that vast amount of capital ploughed into CCTV, had been spent on officers things would have been different. Instead we had years of money being wasted on gimmicks like ID cards, when it should have been spent on the police.

Jim, I totally agree the current plans for regulating CCTV are nonsense, and create more red tape. They also do nothing to address civil liberties concerns. Their primary aim appears to be to create a code of practice and standardisation of CCTV. My views on this aspect of the Protection of Freedom Bills are almost entirely summed up by the evidence fellow civil liberties campaigner Mr Steve Jolly gave at the select committee stage.

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 20 August 2011

I don't get James Baker's logic. CCTV may not prevent crime, but neither does community policing. In a 24-hour, highly mobile society it simply can't. Yet CCTV undeniably provides evidence that gets convictions in many serious crimes. That's its real value and that's how we should measure its cost effectiveness.

It only seems to fall down locally because of human factors. One is the reported unwillingness of police to look through hours of video for evidence in relatively minor cases - like the smashing of a shop window. Another is failure to maintain the system. (Remember the town centre camera that was out of action for over a year?) Neither should reduce confidence in the technology itself, which is improving all the time.

As for civil liberties, the basic principle that if you're doing nothing wrong you have nothing to fear is as sound or unsound (depending on your ideology) whether you're being watched from a passing police car or from a monitoring centre fifty miles away. In fact, I'd sooner go with CCTV as a more objective record of what I'm up to. Camera images can show innocence as well as guilt.

And if we ever get to a stage where we have real worries about CCTV image misuse, a lot of other things will have gone wrong first. I'm much more concerned about the data already held on me by banks, supermarkets, phone companies and Google than by anything likely to be captured on CCTV.

From Cllr James Baker

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Ideally cameras would work perfectly Graham, but as you point out they are plagued by human error. If CCTV really made us safer I would support more of it, but the evidence and studies show it isn't as good as we have all been led to believe.

I used to work in an off-license, it got raided twice, and twice it was captured on film. It didn't do any good though. It didn't stop them, and the police didn't have the time or resources to identify them from the footage.

I would just feel personally safer if more money was spent on ensuring there were real people I could call and rely on if in trouble. I don't feel reassured that there is a camera looking over me when I walk through a town or city centre at night.

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I am beginning to think Cllr Baker is actually a Private Eye style parody of a parish councillor. Otherwise he is hopelessly confused and way out of his depth.

It is pathetic he trots put the usual Fib Dem line about giving money to bankers so I suppose he would have preferred the last government to ignore the global banking crisis and let our system collapse in on itself, A bit ironic from a supporter of a pro-capital party and what would his party have done if they were in government at the time? Much the same.

On the deficit even Calamity Clegg has admitted they are going too fast in reducing it as he has said that so called growth in our region will not match the draconian scale of public sector job losses Cllr Baker's government has imposed on us.

As always with the Fibs he ignores what doesn't suit his self interest. So I hope everyone noted he didn't challenge the 16,000 cuts in police numbers and yet he bangs on about a mythical army of community police officers fanning out across Yorkshire to battle crime. It's the usual facing different ways on the same issue nonsense his party is famed for.

I wonder if Cllr Baker can tell us exactly how Calderdale Council is saving our community police. I don't mean empty claims but minutes of council meetings or emails that prove his point.

I don't aways agree with Graham Barker but he totally guts Cllr Baker's naive civil liberty arguments and really nails his confused thinking.

You can tell a politician is losing the argument when they trot their oh so tragic personal experiences to prove their point. But let me get this straight. CCTV worked but the community police he loves so much didn't have the time to do anything about it. Does he really think with 16,000 less officers this army of community police will have more time to investigate crime caught on camera. Nope, and neither will we able to call on 'real people' to help as they won't be there.

His argument that CCTV didn't prevent the riots is just plain daft. But I'm glad he concedes that CCTV has played a critical part in securing convictions which rather proves my point that it works. On the flip side given the unseemly haste to secure those convictions CCTV may be helpful in the appeals of those who may feel they have been wrongly convicted or their sentences are too harsh.

Cllr Baker is clearly concerned The Man will use CCTV to infringe on our freedoms but as Graham points out The Man can get us anyway unless we live in a cave.

Finally, living in the HB bubble can distort your thinking. Unlike Cllr Baker I spend a lot of time in cities and I was at a major event last weekend where there was a lot of community cops. But I know if it kicked off I would have been happy that CCTV was available to gather evidence and track the troublemakers.

If Cllr Baker can hold his head high in the face of massive police cuts then even by the standard of his own party he is utterly shameless.


From Cllr James Baker

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Paul your name calling is quite amusing, aside from 'clamity clegg' 'Fibdems' 'Fibs' are there any other school ground insults you want to throw?

I posted references up to a review of over 44 studies, but i'm sure you know much better then academics. After all you must have a crystal ball to know how much time I do or don't spend in cities.

The personal stories explain why I don't feel more CCTV is the answer. The studies back up my view. Anyway we had a new CCTV camera only recently by the road into the station, how many more do you think we should have!

What would you cut to fund more CCTV or should we just put up tax more to fund cameras?

Our Council leader met with West Yorkshire's Chief Constable. Calderdale Council pays towards the cost of Police Community Support Officers in the Neighbourhood Police Teams.

From Graham Barker

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I still think James is wide of the mark on this. I've had a look at the Campbell Collaboration review of CCTV studies that he cites and if the summary of its findings is accurate, it comes to a more positive conclusion than James suggests. The summary is worth quoting in full:

"The review shows that CCTV had a modest but significant desirable impact on crime rates. In particular, CCTV was most effective against vehicle crimes in parking lots - crime decreased by half in car parks covered by CCTV compared to those without cameras. The intervention also seemed to lead to greater reductions in crime rates in the United Kingdom, compared to other countries. CCTV worked best when it was combined with other interventions such as improved street lighting.

The reviewers conclude that CCTV is an effective crime prevention measure in public spaces, but, in contrast to its current broad application, should focus only on the specific targets against which it is shown to be most effective. They also call for more high-quality research on this intervention."

That's far from the 'little impact' of James' post of 17 August.


From Cllr James Baker

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Graham fair enough if you still think I'm wide of the mark. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but that's what I passionately feel about CCTV, and what I stand for. I think we already have enough CCTV and money in short supply should be spent on other crime prevention methods.

Regarding the report, it looks at CCTV in broad number of uses (including car parks where it is useful). We are talking specifically about more CCTV in Hebden Bridge town centre.

If you look further on in the full review, when it comes to it's conclusions on this CCTV in public places and town centres it says:

"These CCTV schemes, as well as those focused on public transport, did not have a significant effect on crime."

Full section is here:

Implications for practice

"Exactly what the optimal circumstances are for effective use of CCTV schemes is not entirely clear at present, and this needs to be established by future evaluation research (see below). But it is important to note that the success of the CCTV schemes in car parks was mostly limited to a reduction in vehicle crimes (the only crime type measured in 5 of the 6 schemes) and camera coverage was high for those evaluations that reported on it. In the national British evaluation of the effectiveness of CCTV, Farrington (2007b) found that effectiveness was significantly correlated with the degree of coverage of the CCTV cameras, which was greatest in car parks. Furthermore, all 6 car park schemes included other interventions, such as improved lighting and security guards. It is plausible to suggest that CCTV schemes with high coverage and other interventions and targeted on vehicle crimes are effective.

Conversely, the evaluations of CCTV schemes in city and town centers and public housing measured a much larger range of crime types and only a small number of studies involved other interventions. These CCTV schemes, as well as those focused on public transport, did not have a significant effect on crime."

From Paul Clarke

Saturday, 3 September 2011

God love Cllr Baker, he shuffles his political pack of tricks getting all self righteous and yet remains so wrong.

I'll leave Graham to continue to thoroughly demolish his badly researched and ill thought out CCTV arguments.

All I would offer is a snippet from the Manchester Evening News. A scumbag borrowed his mother's mobility car to drive into the city centre to move a looted flat screen TV. How was he caught? Yep, you guessed it,..an alert CCTV operator clocked him...recorded the robbery...and secured a conviction. But it seems CCTV doesn't work.

Now...the playground insults. Not insults but based on solid facts along the lines of the funny Libour jibes around the Iraq war. In terms of Fib Dems I would put forward students loans. Case proved.

In terms of Calamity Clegg. Does anyone other than Cllr Baker really believe that Clegg hasn't been an utter calamity nationally and locally for the Fibs. Down to 10% in the national polls, a pathetic 2% in a recent by-election and hammered locally. My daughter was literally laughing as Calamity lamely tried talk to people after the riots. Case proved.

You ask me what I would cut to at least partly fund more CCTV if it was needed. Easy. Cut the £100m plus being used to create the divisive and pointless 'free' schools. It wouldn't cover the total cost but you asked for a cut and I've given you one. BTW . . . don't get all self rightous about tax hikes when your government banged up VAT(ax) which impacts on all our household budgets.

If you remember I merely asked if we needed more CCTV...maybe we do, maybe we don't. Perhaps the council could debate it?

I'm sure we can all sleep easy in our beds now our gifted and dynamic council leader has met the Chief Constable. But I would expect a council leader on 30K plus to put policing at the top of her agenda.

But Cllr Baker failed to say whether it was one to one meeting with the Chief Constable or just sitting in a room with other leaders. Was there any written guarantees given there would be no cuts to our policing? Can we see the minutes of that meeting as I requested?

But I think our esteemed council leader should get a move on as remember she only scraped in by a handful of votes last time she stood despite a very unpopular government. So she needs to get this nailed on soon as given the local trend it is likely she will be out of office next year.

I note you ignored the 16,000 police cuts again.