Dermot Ahern recently opened an extension of the Ballymun CCTV system.
MINISTER FOR Justice Dermot Ahern has said a Garda CCTV system in Ballymun, north Dublin, will help reduce and solve crime rather than push illegal activity into areas not covered by the new cameras.
Speaking at the launch yesterday of the newest section of Ballymun’s system, Mr Ahern said recent Department of Justice research had not revealed any increase in crime in areas just outside urban zones covered by the systems.
This is an example of evidence-based policy making, I thought. How admirable. But, you know, the funny thing is that the Department’s research seems to have turned up some novel conclusions. After all, the UK has been researching this for some time. Their general finding is that crime is generally displaced, albeit by different degrees for different kinds of crime.
The House of Lords report on Survellance: Citizens and the State (big pdf), in paragraph 79 cites
Professor Clive Norris, Professor of Sociology and Deputy Director of the
Centre for Criminological Research at the University of Sheffield, and
representative of the Surveillance Studies Network, referred to research that
showed that improved street lighting “seemed to be a rather more effective
form of prevention” than CCTV.
So whether you’re in favour or against CCTV, it would be interesting to see the Department’s research referred to by the Minister.
I emailed the Department yesterday and recieved confirmation today that no research on CCTV was carried out by the Department of Justice. They suggest there was research done by An Garda Siochana on CCTV, but they couldn’t confirm whether (a) this was the research the Minister was talking about or (b) that the research was published.
Oh well. Evidence-based policy making is nice in theory. We still don’t know in Ireland if it works in practice as we don’t seem to use it.
Oh, and the cost of the CCTV extended system in Ballymun?
One million euro, with the cost split evenly between the Department of Justice and the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.