Home owners must be prepared to provide their own evidence to convict burglars, as Police budgets are cut to the bone over the next couple of years, it’s emerged.
That’s the view of Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe – Britain’s top Police officer – who says that properly fitted CCTV systems in homes and businesses will become the number one means to gather evidence against criminals, especially as the technology becomes cheaper and better than ever before.
It’s an opinion shared by the CCTV.co.uk company, which says that reduced police numbers will leave British citizens virtually on their own in the fight against property crime; meaning that now is the time to ensure that surveillance systems are good enough to provide court-ready evidence and deter unwanted visitors.
“It will get to the point where the Police will be so stretched that they won’t even come out unless you’ve got compelling evidence against the wrongdoer,” CCTV.co.uk spokesperson Jonathan Ratcliffe says. “Hopelessly stretched Police forces will have no time to collect evidence, and criminals will only be encouraged by the lower risk of arrest.”
CCTV.co.uk echoes Sir Bernard’s call to homeowners and businesses to ensure that their cameras are of good quality, and produce images that can be used as evidence.
“For years, people have been fitting cameras high up on walls to prevent criminals from stealing and damaging them,” Ratcliffe explains, “But while they’re a visual deterrent, all they’re good for is for filming the top of the offender’s head. Our Police must have the world’s largest archive of useless camera footage – it can be dispiriting for people in the surveillance industry.”
However, with high-quality digital imaging technology cheaper and better than ever before, the time has come for people to defend their property effectively with systems that actually produce results that will produce convictions. Ratcliffe says “Smaller, more discreet cameras now allow face-level cameras that lead to far easier identification and quicker arrests.”
“And they’re effective both by day and at night, with cameras in multiple locations feeding back to the owners’ own computer system where they can be easily accessed.”
CCTV says that modern micro-cameras can even be hidden inside domestic appliances so that the criminal may not even know they are being recorded. Devices can be mounted inside
“That way, we can catch the criminal’s face as they enter a room,” say Ratcliffe, “and if their picture is on the police database, there’s every chance of a positive identification.”
While the message about police cuts and an expected surge in crime against property is a stark one, homeowners with a relatively cheap but evidence-quality CCTV system can be confident of deterring invaders and securing convictions against those who trespass on their property.
“Budget cuts in our police forces are only going to get worse, with lower numbers of officers on patrol and local police stations closing,” CCTV.co.uk’s Jonathan Ratcliffe says, “And that means that protecting your home is now in your hands.
“But that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. With an effective CCTV system, you’re already one step ahead of the criminals.”