Paper rapped for publishing map of faulty CCTV units

By Sarah Lagan

The
York Evening Press is standing by its decision to publish a map
pinpointing faulty CCTV cameras, despite coming under fire from the
police and city council.

The City of York Council and North
Yorkshire Police, in a letter to Press Gazette , claim publishing the
information could have led to crimes where the cameras were identified
as not working.

The letter, from chief superintendent Tim
Madgwick of North Yorkshire Police and City of York chief executive
David Atkinson, said: “We all accept the Evening Press’s right to
publish the story. What we cannot accept is a local newspaper that
prides itself on its community role publishing a list and map
highlighting the parts of the city that become more unsafe as a result
of that information.

“Where would the responsibility be if someone had been attacked in one of those blind spots?”

The
York Evening Press said it ran the story after being contacted by an
anonymous source with details of CCTV cameras in the city that were not
working correctly.

The council told the paper that work was under way to repair the cameras and all but one would be working in a matter of days.

Editor Kevin Booth took the decision to publish a full list of the faulty cameras as well as a map of the area identifying them.

He told Press Gazette : “It is our belief that a string of robberies, attacks and brawls went unrecorded over 11 weeks.

We
spoke to victims who said it was like being mugged twice when they
learned that the cameras hadn’t filmed what happened to them.

“We felt it was our duty to let our readers know just where the cameras were blind and people were vulnerable.

“To
the best of our knowledge, there were no crimes in the areas that we
highlighted on the day we ran the investigation in the Evening Press.

“What’s
more, our inquiries undoubtedly prompted a flurry of repair work by the
city council and, within 12 days of publication, all the faulty cameras
had been fixed. I stand by our story.”

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