[from Hackney Gazette]
BIGGER BROTHER WITH CCTV
14 March 2008
|Cllr Alan Laing and borough police commander, Chief Supt Steve Dann, in the CCTV control room in Stoke Newington|
FIFTY-FIVE new CCTV cameras are to be installed across the borough to help in the fight against crime.
There are now a total of 167 cameras viewed 24 hours a day from a control room in Stoke Newington, playing a vital role in catching offenders and reducing crime.
However, campaigners are warning that the proliferation of CCTV is contributing to the “wallpaper of constant state surveillance”.
The new cameras have been installed in Gilpin Square in Lower Clapton, London Fields, Woodberry Down, Stoke Newington High Street and Upper Clapton Road.
Hackney mayor Jules Pipe pointed to a successful prosecution of two men for a murder in Homerton.
Junior Gordon, 39, and his brother, Rohan, 37, were jailed for life at the Old Bailey last month for the murder of Craig Thoms.
The attack was captured on CCTV, which provided such overwhelming evidence the brothers changed their pleas to guilty during the trial.
Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “The fact that CCTV played such a vital role in securing these convictions proves what a significant tool CCTV is in helping to get violent criminals off our streets.”
But Martin Twomey, of the campaign group, NO2ID, said: “The area is already saturated with CCTV and this announcement begs the question whether this is the best use of taxpayers’ money.
“We think the money would be better spent in combating crime at source such as providing education for those at risk of becoming criminals.
“CCTV is the least unpopular aspect of the surveillance state, but it’s part of the wallpaper of constant state surveillance.”