CCTV cutting crime figures in the Broch

CCTV cameras which were installed in the Broch during 2009 by the CCTV Working Group have been hailed a success following a recent study that shows public place crimes in the town have decreased by 30%.

The findings of the recent study, that was carried out to analyse the effectiveness of CCTV and its impact on crime, examined crime rates in the 12 months before camera installation and following installation.

The analysis found there to be, in the year following the cameras’ installation, a 52% decrease in vandalism offences, and breach of the peace crimes have decreased by 25%.

Commenting on the report, Ricky Sheaffe-Greene, secretary/treasurer of the CCTV group said: “The report is excellent news and shows that all the hard work of getting the CCTV system in Fraserburgh has been worth it.

Three areas of the town were examined within the report, section 1, the area of camera installation; section 2, the area west of camera installation; and section 3, the area south of camera installation. In section 1, public place crime has reduced by 16% from the previous year, and in section 3 by 30%.

As well as contributing to the general decrease in crime in the town, the CCTV cameras were also instrumental in assisting in the identification of offenders for two assaults and a robbery.

Brian Topping, chairman of the CCTV group said: “I am delighted that after a year of CCTV cameras being installed, this report makes it quite clear that crime has reduced, which is good news.

“We have always said that CCTV cameras will not necessarily reduce crime, but will help detect it and hopefully bring the culprits to justice in our courts.”

Though the CCTV cameras in Fraserburgh cannot be given the sole credit for the decrease in crime rates, they have certainly had a positive impact on the situation. Grampian Police Inspector John Esson saidt: “I am delighted that the award winning CCTV system which was requested by the people of Fraserburgh following public consultation and which was delivered by the CCTV working group, has proved to be a continued success.

“Although I appreciate that CCTV will not eliminate all crimes and offences occuring in the area covered, its value as a deterrent, and investigative tool, (which has already proved effective with offender identification) and as a means of public reassurance cannot be underestimated.”

Mr Sheaffe-Green added: “I hope that we can complete the system with cameras in two other locations within the town and would like to thank once again the local buisiness and shops who have given generously towards the success of CCTV.”

Fraserburgh’s nine cameras are currently the only public space CCTV cameras in Aberdeenshire, which has the fewest public space CCTV cameras of all local authorities in Scotland.