A closed circuit TV camera was recognised by the award of the Queen’s Police Medal for its outstanding contribution to police services at a ceremony yesterday. The camera, promoted to Sergeant last year, is stationed on a streetlight just above a busy off licence in Lewisham High Street and has been on the front line of policing ever since its installation ten years ago.
‘I know there are a lot of complaints about police surveillance, bit I prefer to think of it as simply watching people, carefully.’ said Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, head of the Metropolitan Police. ‘Sergeant CCTV is just one of a loyal force of cameras, steadfastly prepared to serve the community twenty four hours a day without a second thought for their own needs. And I can tell you, this camera alone has been directly responsible for the prevention of some extremely unsavoury behaviour.’
Surveys amongst the population of South East London have found most people in favour of CCTV cameras. Madeline Richards, 23, a personal assistant, agreed with the Met’s Boss. ‘Commissioner Stephenson is quite right,’ she said ‘because when I walked past the offie, nothing unsavoury happened at all. It just goes to show how good that camera is.’
But anti-CCTV campaigner, Will Jackson, pointed out that the camera’s gallantry medal was just another example of the way the Met is ‘brainwashing’ the public by trying to humanise machinery adding ‘I don’t want anyone to think I’m camera-ist. I’ve got nothing against the camera personally, I’m sure that he is only doing what he is told.’
The citation for Sergeant CCTV, reads ‘This camera is a key team player. Without its selfless devotion to duty, a large number of several criminals would still be roaming the streets allowing their dogs to foul the pavements.’
It is understood that Sergeant CCTV accepted the award in honour of its friend and colleague, Private CCTV who was struck down in service when a bus hit its lamppost headquarters last month.