CCTV: A hindrance or a help?
There are fresh calls to expand CCTV in Jersey, introduce new Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology and see police officers wearing cameras.
It's claimed the UK is the most spied-upon nation in the world, so how far behind are the Channel Islands?
You may be surprised but closed-circuit cameras are a part of everyday life in St. Helier. Police say they are an essential tool in keeping our streets safe. CCTV images were used to help convict Michael Calvert of a knife-attack. They have been use to help track missing people and some private residents have installed their own monitoring equipment at home.
There are even cameras on our buses these days, several of them keeping an electronic eye on our every move, but where do you draw the line between reassurance and infringing our liberty?
The No-CCTV campaign group first campaigned in Oxford against surveillance cameras in 2007. The city and others including Birmingham, Leicester and Peterborough also have fixed Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems. But in the market town of Royston, Hertfordshire Police have been found in breach of the Data Protection Act for its disproportionate use of ANPR cameras.
A scrutiny panel tomorrow will investigate if such cameras should come to St. Helier to keep an eye on traffic congestion. In addition to the current CCTV cameras, the Police are already trialling body-worn cameras for officers on the beat.