People steal the funniest things

As afficionados of the new community monitored TV (CMTV) will know, people will steal anything these days. We have noticed there seem to be some interesting regional variations. They also highlight the differences between CCTV and CMTV.

In Watford at the moment, there’s a spate of manhole cover theft. The burgling community of Morley in Lancashire is concentrating on stealing roofing material off sheltered housing. In south east London, according to reports, no fashion conscious criminal would be seen dead without a roll of copper cable under his arms. Although some have come remarkably close to death, after a challenging attempt to steal from an electricity sub-station.

The prize for ingenuity must go to Bradford’s Christopher Cunningham, 22, who has concentrated on the CCTV market. Not installing them, but stealing them and selling them. Unfortunately for the young entrepreneur, the four hours he spent unscrewing four CCTV cameras from the walls of the former Listers Arms pub in Manchester Road were recorded perfectly and broadcast by the website of the local paper, the Bradford Argus.

That exemplifies one of the essential differences between community monitored TV (CMTV) and CCTV. If this has happened on CMTV, at least of our community would have been watching, raised an alert and caught the young desperado in the act.

Under CCTV, by the time the footage had been reviewed, he was long gone. The cameras had already been sold by the time the police picked him up.

There’s a number of lesson here surely. People will steal anything. Theft is on the increase. And the case for CMTV has never been stronger. While CCTV puts the cameras out there, but what good is a camera if – for the most time – there’s no-one behind it. Most CCTV networks have one operator. CMTV, as the name implies, gets the community behind the cameras. That makes an enormous difference.