TIM DREW: CCTV images vital in fight against crime

Tim Drew
Tim Drew
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Neighbourhood Watch is supporting a petition to reverse a ruling by the EU Information Commissioner’s Office.

The ruling means any household CCTV system that films beyond the boundary of the owner’s property and into public or private areas – even partially – must be registered with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office at an annual cost of £35. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.

The result is not only that tens of thousands of households are now unknowingly breaking the law and running the risk of prosecution, but that the likelihood of burglaries will rise and detection rates will fall as householders will avoid offering footage for fear of prosecution.

Neighbourhood Watch believes that CCTV images are a vitally important tool in the fight against crime and is urging members to lobby their new police and crime commissioner and sign the online petition – petition.parliament.uk/petitions/122236. The deadline for signatures is August 19.

Meanwhile, the Community Speedwatch team has completed its first year of operations, with 700 offenders picked up over 98 sessions.

Last month, 106 offenders were identified over 13 sessions.

The team was represented at the Neighbourhood Watch and Crime Prevention Awareness event on Saturday, as was the West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Task Force, which continues to find work – its latest engagement being at the St George’s Day Parade in Arundel.

Its communication capabilities have been enhanced with the acquisition of a new radio mast which will enable better communication with the radios over longer distances.

The Mash Barn, Churchill and Widewater Neighbourhood Panel will meet on Tuesday (May 10) at Lancing Parish Hall at 7pm.

Offington Neighbourhood Panel will meet next Thursday (May 12) at the Thomas A Becket PHS in Rectory Road at 10am.

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