McShane calls for investigation into CCTV use

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An Independent Councillor has called for a complete and through investigation into CCTV used by Moyle District Council.

Padraig McShane, who has consistently opposed the introduction of CCTV throughout the District, was speaking following claims that cameras were being used to monitor homes on Rathlin Island.

The Councillor had previously warned of the blurring of the lines between “what part of our lives were for public consumption and what parts of our lives should remain private”.

He stated: “Despite claims by the PSNI, private security firms and camera technology companies, deterrence of crime has failed to be proved on the installation and operating of security or surveillance cameras in any given location.

“Results, both quantitive and qualitive, have failed to conclude that any benefit arises from the installation of spy equipment.

“Infrared and other sensory technologies can help cameras quite literally see through walls nowadays. Camera surveillance in built up areas threaten privacy and civil liberties and even more often challenge our understandings of what is public and what is private in our expectations on privacy.

“Surveillance cameras do not prevent crime. Perpetrators tend to cover themselves or move to an adjacent street or neighbourhood and continue to be a menace to local communities. This in turn leads to requests for additional cameras. The practise is known as the “displacement of crime”- leading to a proliferation of spy cameras.

“Ballycastle has a network of cameras scanning its citizens with no tangible results on crime prevention being delivered. On nearly all occasions, residents who have been the victims of crime refer to the many cameras only to be told, they weren’t working, or, we can’t identify who did it.

“What they will receive is a report number and instructions on how to claim from their insurance. Meanwhile the cameras maintain their watch - for whose benefit?

“People must ask themselves, who operates the cameras? What is done with the recordings? Who catches sight of the filming and what links do they facilitate with organisations?” he concluded.