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"The cameras aren't hidden, but they just blend in," he said."If people were totally aware they were being recorded then, in reality, they wouldn't do it.The time between CCTV capturing an incident and someone being convicted can be very long."Mr Kean's comments follow concerns raised by Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, of the Metropolitan Police, who described the use CCTV to convict criminals as a "fiasco".He said: "Billions of pounds has been spent on kit, but no thought has gone into how the police are going to use the images and how they will be used in court."It's very difficult to look at statistics and say whether CCTV is working or not.There are too many reports saying 'maybe it does, maybe it doesn't'.However, he said the cameras provided police and councils with a valuable weapon in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour.
Opposition politicians are now questioning why so much has been spent on CCTV without any clear way of evaluating the system's effectiveness.One might be that they are discouraging the public from reporting crime: "I think there's a real risk that CCTV will do the community's duty.Sometimes that's a problem."Mr Kean said CCTV only reduced the fear of crime when the public saw an immediate police response to incidents: "There's a need to feed that back to communities to say 'because of CCTV, this is happening'.Walter Kean, general manager of Glasgow Community and Safety Services, an arms-length joint council and police body in charge of the city's CCTV network, said the cameras' ability to deter crime had been slowly eroded over time."In terms of public-space CCTV, it's become acceptable within the public domain," he said."When you went from the train station to here, how many cameras did you see?