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But we are convinced it is beneficial," he said."How many people get convicted on the back of CCTV? And how many have been charged on the back of CCTV?I wouldn't know either." He added: "CCTV doesn't make a difference on its own.
Karyn Mc Cluskey, deputy head of the VRU, which is based in Glasgow, said: "CCTV was brought in to record crime and identify offenders, but we think it can do more to prevent crime."It's cold comfort if you've been assaulted and it has been caught on CCTV, but the camera didn't prevent it in the first place."The move is seen as vital to unlock the potential of CCTV as a crime deterrent.
According to the figures – released by local authorities and police – just 14 per cent of the incidents caught on camera last year led to an immediate police response and an arrest.
Opposition politicians are now questioning why so much has been spent on CCTV without any clear way of evaluating the system's effectiveness.
However, he said the cameras provided police and councils with a valuable weapon in the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour.
Between April 2007 and March this year, 14,264 incidents were caught on CCTV in Glasgow.
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Figures on the number of convictions secured using CCTV evidence are not recorded, but information released to The Scotsman under the Freedom of Information Act suggests significant differences in the effectiveness of cameras across Scotland, with some areas showing much higher arrest rates than others.