Monthly Archives: March 2012
It’s tough enough for Britain’s High Streets in the current economic climate and now, with cuts to the budgets of local Councils, shopkeepers are also feeling vulnerable from the threat of thieves and vandals with a lack of CCTV and their local police stations being closed.
For example, an opticians in Ongar was broken into recently – the alarm was triggered and the thieves escaped with nothing, however, there wasn’t sufficient CCTV coverage of the shop to capture the raiders. “The recent spate of break-ins in Ongar does concern me,” said Mr Boatmans, the proprietor of the Opticians. “I’m not sure if it’s because they have shut the police station and the CCTV isn’t any good. Ongar is a target. We absolutely need another camera in the High Street.”
Going forward, police, shopkeepers and councils could really benefit by working closely together and installing cost-effective IP camera networks like Jabbakam. A fraction of the cost of traditional CCTV and able to alert the customer instantly when movement is detected, each shop could have their own cameras rather than rely on those in the High Street and the shopkeepers and police could work in unison when it came to managing their network of cameras.
The results of successful partnerships between the police, councils and residents can be seen in the village of Pilsley, Derbyshire where 6 months ago there were persistent reports of drunken and nuisance behavior. However, since the partnership was set up and new CCTV installed related calls to the police have dropped from 20 a week to zero.
According to a survey commissioned by English Heritage, historic buildings across the country are being targeted by vandals and thieves. Researchers surveyed 609 owners in October and November last year and their findings suggest almost a fifth of all sites – some 70,000 buildings – could have been harmed in 2011.
Metal theft was the most common crime, and churches the most at threat.
English Heritage Chief Executive Simon Thurley said irreparable damage meant “centuries of history will be lost forever. Whilst heritage is not necessarily being targeted over other places, save perhaps for their valuable materials and artefacts, they are suffering a substantial rate of attrition from crime nonetheless,” he said. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/new-study-heritage-crime/
“Their particular vulnerability warrants every effort to ensure they are still around for future generations to enjoy just as much as we enjoy them now.”
The survey was carried out by Newcastle University, Loughborough University and the Council for British Archaeology. It looked at listed buildings, unlisted buildings in conservation areas, scheduled monuments, and historic parks and gardens and based its figures on the sample size.
Janet Gough, director of the Church of England’s cathedrals and church buildings division told the BBC, “Churches are fighting back against crime with increased security measures and vigilance but are not able to bear the threat and cost of crime indefinitely.” However, this is where cost effective solutions such as Jabbakam come into their own. Relatively cheap for the churches to purchase and use they could also recruit volunteers to be monitors of the system who could then report crimes instantly to the police. As the system can alert users as soon as movement is detected it won’t be too much of a burden on their time.
Police station closures will force officers and the public to go high tech
In the UK, the Coalition Government has cut funding for police forces by 20 percent. The consequences could be dire for many areas as the cuts force the police to shut many police stations. In Surrey, Epsom, Cranleigh and Walton are amongst a dozen stations earmarked for closure. As Jill Grieve, a spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance, told the Sunday Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9150425/End-of-bobby-on-the-beat-as-third-of-police-stations-close.html
These forthcoming closures have sounded the “death knell for the bobby on the beat”. What it will mean is that for many communities – especially those living in rural areas, many won’t be able to go to a police station to report a crime unless they are prepared to travel considerable distance. It seems that both the public and the Police forces will have to turn to technology to fill this gap.
The Sunday Telegraph recently carried out a survey of 43 police forces in England and Wales. The newspaper discovered that out of 1,300 police stations, at least 361 have closed or are due to be shut to the general public over the last two years. About 66 per cent of those are in small towns and villages.
For example, in Hampshire victims of crime are being asked to report offences by email since 18 of the county’s 47 police stations are being sold off or closed.
Police forces themselves are claiming that the public is actually welcoming a move towards utilising technology rather than having to rely on the old fashioned practice of making a trip down to the local station.
One solution is, of course, to install a web based surveillance system like the one offered by Jabbakam. When an incident occurs – such as a burglary, it will provide the house owner will all the evidence that he or she needs. In effect, the video footage can be forwarded to the closest police station and officers can respond as necessary. Especially if the system has caught either a vehicle registration number or a good image of the perpetrator’s face.