Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Poor CCTV 'lets criminals escape'

CCTV camera
Some store staff have put Christmas decorations over the cameras

Vital evidence is being lost and criminals are getting away because CCTV systems in shops are not being looked after properly, according to police.

Tayside officers have reported problems such as poor picture quality, the wrong time and date stamps and staff not knowing how to download images.

Christmas decorations and large displays have also been put over or in front of cameras.

Police said they came across CCTV problems in stores every week.

Donald Campbell, a crime prevention officer with Tayside Police, said: ''CCTV is not something that you fit and forget. It must be properly deployed and maintained before it can do the job it is designed for.

''I would urge all owners or managers of businesses with CCTV cameras installed to take the time to make sure that their system is fit for purpose.''

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