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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Yobs 'could pay for more CCTV'
CCTV cameras
CCTV cameras are a common sight
Tearaways charged with anti-social behaviour could see their fines used to pay for more surveillance cameras on the streets of north Wales.

The radical shake-up of the way CCTV cameras are paid for has been called for by Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami.

"In a similar way to the way speed cameras are funded, we could roll out more CCTV cameras by making yobs pay," he said.

"It would be fantastic to see those who have discredited our communities pay for them to be made safer."

At present, CCTV cameras are funded from a variety of sources - by local authorities, town and community councils and with grants from the Welsh assembly and the Home Office.

Fixed penalties

Fines for anti-social behaviour currently go back into the Home Office pot.

North Wales Police was one of four areas across the UK to try out on-the-spot fines to people acting disruptively.

Officers handed out fixed penalty fines of between 40 and 80 to offenders.

North Wales Police say they would support Mark Tami's scheme, but civil rights group Liberty said the money could be used elsewhere.

"We suggest that money would be better spent making sure dark streets are better lit and there are more police on the beat," said spokesman Barry Hugill.

"We don't think CCTV cameras are the answer to every problem," he added.

Images from CCTV cameras
Images from CCTV cameras are sent to police operations rooms

"CCTV is very, very good at reducing thefts in car parks but the results on street crime are really disappointing."

A similar scheme is already in operation with speed cameras, with fines paid by speeding motorists re-invested in extra cameras.

But while the funding of more speed cameras has proved controversial - with some motorists accusing police of using them as a revenue-raising tool - Mr Tami believes making those convicted of anti-social behaviour pay for CCTV cameras would be popular.

"The evidence proving the effectiveness of CCTV cameras is undisputed," he said.

"The police, public and companies all support them and by using revenue from fines we could dramatically increase the numbers of them."

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