According to Dr James Martin, criminologist, CCTV is powerless to prevent crime from occurring, with spontaneous crimes such as late-night violence in Melbourne’s CBD an example of this type of offending.
While CCTV may not be able to prevent crime it certainly aids in gathering evidence to assist in policing and the criminal justice system. If not for CCTV it is unlikely that Jill Meagher’s alleged murderer would have been apprehended as promptly as he was giving him the opportunity to commit further crimes.
In respect to the criminal justice system it is far less likely that a criminal will plead not guilty when there is obvious CCTV footage of the crime leading to a much speedier resolution of matters and freeing up our congested legal system.
Victoria Police has consistently supported much wider use of CCTV.
In respect to the arguments relating to the cost of CCTV or the non-discrete placement of CCTV perhaps the government should consider promoting all commercial properties, and even possibly residential properties, to install CCTV by offering a 100% tax deduction incentive. I am quite certain that the financial cost would be well compensated for by the subsequent financial savings made in the criminal justice system.
For victims of crime support and advice call 1800 000 055 or go to www.victimsofcrime.com.au