Ptarmigan weighs into media debate on CCTV

Leeds-based Ptarmigan PR has been chosen by the UK's largest CCTV monitoring company to fight negative perceptions of the technology.

CCTV: combating negative press
CCTV: combating negative press

The account win was announced as CCTV hit the press when a senior police officer warned that huge investment in closed-circuit TV technology has failed to cut UK crime. According to a BBC news story on Tuesday, detective chief inspector Mike Neville said the system was an 'utter fiasco' - with only three per cent of London's street robberies being solved using security cameras.

Sheffield-based Camwatch monitors more than 20,000 cameras across the country from its remote managed office. It has taken on its first PR support and awarded Ptarmigan the brief following a three-way pitch.

The company claims its USP is to use technology to prevent crime. When intruders enter a protected site, live images are transmitted to the national control room and operators can issue warnings over a tannoy system. They can then scramble local police response teams to the scene.

The account will be headed up by Ptarmigan senior consultant Paul Rogers.

The agency is charged with helping the company's expansion into the motoring, private estates and waste management industries.

Neville was speaking at the Security Document World Conference earlier this week. He said that one of the problems was that criminals were not afraid of the cameras.

'We acknowledge that the deterrence from committing crime has more or less disappeared through the use of CCTV because they are not monitored properly,' said Ptarmigan's Rogers.

Camwatch's systems are already used by construction companies as rising scrap prices make construction sites a target. Growing demand from developing nations, in particular China, have prompted a dramatic rise in metal, and security systems are needed as a result.

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