Independent columnist Observer has a eureka moment over policing High Street parking regulations and the future of CCTV cameras in the town
CCTV cameras are part of everyday life.
They are everywhere, monitoring our every move, tracking our steps and where we drive our cars.
George Orwell certainly predicted the future when he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four in the late 1940s but perhaps didn’t quite get the year right.
I reflected on the cameras when I saw Uckfield town councillors will be getting a report on what’s to be done with the ageing ones dotted around our High Street.
Two key questions to ask are:
- What will the quality of the CCTV images be like if the cameras are replaced?
- How many crimes have been detected – and how many convictions – in the last 12 months as a result of evidence obtained from the CCTV cameras?
Some will believe the cameras have a deterrent value. Quite how you measure that is unclear to me.
On returning home I scrolled down the UckfieldNews.com home page and I saw the juxtaposition of two stories: one about the CCTV review sitting right next to last week’s column which had been headlined: Waiting for a cunning plan to enforce Uckfield High Street parking restrictions, says Observer.
There’s the solution. Replace the cameras so they can monitor parking and crime and you have the win, win situation so loved by the modern business leader.
The cameras could pay for themselves over a period of time. That’s what they use on the Luxford Field car park.
Quite how that fits with decriminalised parking, I have no idea.
As things stand, the police enforce parking and one would, therefore, imagine fines paid by errant motorists would be collected by the police and passed to central government.
The lack of joined-up thinking probably means there is no mechanism for a “cut” of the fines going to the local council to pay for (and maintain) the cameras in the longer term.
In times of austerity, cutbacks and an all-round lack of money in local government, there is need for some Brave New World thinking.
Owen Hoy writes in an email dated Sunday, September 18: “I totally agree with the ‘Observer’ in relation to Uckfield Town CCTV because if it had been in operation last Wednesday, then the Superdrug HGV which was parked on the pavement at 7am (see photo) would have received a hefty fine!”
Andy Murton said in an email on Saturday, September 17: “Walking up the High Street last night we saw this illegally parked vehicle. I guess he was in the kebab shop. Not only was it on the new footpath but worse, on the zig zag lines of the crossing. Really dangerous and really illegal. We must name and shame people as we don’t have any police presence.
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