Rationale for CCTV is flawed
By Guest Blogger LEON SMITH
Executive vice president,
We are all aware that the speed with which the concept of Big Brother is becoming a reality is frightening. CCTV on our roads, in the streets, in supermarkets, department stores, football stadiums, public buildings and now in care homes.
High Street cameras are installed in order to prevent speeding, shoplifting and/or violent attacks on members of the public. The cameras are targeting potential offenders in these cases. The prima facie argument for these cameras is to catch the perpetrators red handed.
This apparently simple concept does not, in my view however, translate comfortably into a care home setting. It is proposed that cameras are to be installed at the request of relatives. Because perhaps one in a thousand carers has a propensity towards abuse or violence, this means that every day 999 hard working, conscientious and caring staff members are coming into work knowing that they are going to be spied upon all day, every day.
The rationale for the possible installation of CCTV in care homes is flawed. The presence ofa camera tells staff that they are not trusted by society and effectively their employer has no confidence in them. What does this say for the relationship between employer and employee? What could be more demoralising for an employee than to know that not only are they not well paid for an unbelievably difficult job, but also they are not trusted?. Indirectly, what does this say about our attitudes towards older people? One Winterbourne View does not condemn the whole of the care sector as being guilty of neglect or abuse.
As a society we need to treat those carers carrying out the sacred work of caring for our parents and family with respect. They need to be rewarded appropriately and held in the highest of esteem. One corrupt policeman does not mean that the entire police force is corrupt. One Member of Parliament with questionable links, perhaps to somebody who has offended in some way, and/or been involved in child abuse, does not mean that we write off all 600 members of Parliament as being paedophiles. Let us be careful, cautious and observant at all times, but without CCTV.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.