Scottish minister of state James Douglas-Hamilton said today that chief executives of Scottish local authorities and the country's eight chief constables have been invited to co-ordinate further bids within their areas for a share of the £1m which will help extend CCTV in public places as a means of reducing crime and the fear of crime.
Lord James said:
'While CCTV will never replace the trained police officer, it does makes the police more effective, particularly when it is used alongside other crime prevention techniques. A recently published study in Newcastle highlighted more than 1,800 arrests as a result of CCTV observations. Over 1,000 of these have come to court to date. When faced with the CCTV evidence, 99% of those charged pleaded guilty. The remaining seven who chose to plead not guilty were eventually convicted too.
'Winners of the first phase of our CCTV Challenge Competition included 32 communities throughout Scotland - from Eyemouth to Dingwall, from Muirhouse to Stornoway. A number of those schemes are already well advanced and it will not be long before we see them all in full operation.
'I anticipate equal interest and enthusiasm for this next phase which should see upwards of a further 300 cameras installed throughout Scotland. There are already more than 50 CCTV schemes in Scotland and I am glad to see how quickly the law abiding public have embraced the benefits of CCTV as an effective method of detecting criminals and, more importantly, of deterring crime.'
The competition will again be open to partnerships in any area but eligibility will be confined to those who can demonstrate that they are broadly representative of their community and, importantly, bids must have the support of the police.
Applications from individual people, individual businesses, or organisations acting alone will not be considered. To succeed, applications will need to clearly identify a crime problem which CCTV can address in the area to be covered.
To quality for a share of the £1m available in 1997-98, applicants will need to demonstrate that they are able to meet future running costs, can attract at least matching funding from other sources and will operate a code of practice to ensure that the system is not abused.