Thursday, February 12, 2009

The scary side of CCTV

I received this in the morning's mail from Peter, Director of the CCTV Users Group.

"Colleagues,

This is the first time I have heard of such an event, but
please let me know if it has happened before, I will pass any comments on to the Local Authority Manager involved who is happy to talk to anyone who can help.

It occurred about a year ago and the brief summary is:

Police Officers were called to a vagrant one day, who appeared under the influence. They did nothing.

Later that evening the LA CCTV operators saw the vagrant ‘sleeping rough’

The vagrant later died, and the Police arrested the two CCTV Operators for questioning regarding potential charges of manslaughter on the grounds that they had not fulfilled their ’Duty of Care’ to the individual. No charges have in fact yet been brought.

The inquest is to be held in March, and the Police will be represented by Barristers, and so the Local Authority have appointed Barristers for themselves, and separate Barristers to represent the operators. So things are getting quite high powered.

Bearing in mind everyone has lived with this hanging over them for a year, naturally concern is rising.

Amongst all other things they are concerned that even if not charged the arrest for manslaughter will stay on their record and affect future job prospects

The help we need is, does anyone know of any other similar CCTV case in the UK where operators have been arrested by the Police, not for doing something but in the Police view failing to do something.

My personal view is we are stepping on incredibly dangerous ground here with all the incidents and events operators watch,. Is it ‘over the top action’ by the Police who themselves did not act earlier in the day?

Any helpful thoughts would be appreciated"

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