‘Smile, you’re on camera’ - the message to criminals as Redbridge CCTV campaign launches

“Smile, you’re going to be on camera” is the message being delivered to criminals in a borough-wide poster campaign.

Hundreds of posters have been put up this week at borough train and Tube stations, town centres and on buses.

The poster, under the campaign banner We’ve Got Redbridge Covered, shows a black and white figure with his face pixelated, following five people in a generic pedestrianised area.

“We’re saying [to criminals], don’t bother coming here because you’re on camera,” said borough commander Det Ch Supt Sue Williams.”

More than 250 CCTV cameras are positioned across Redbridge, and operated 24/7 from a control centre in Ley Street, Ilford.

Police officers inside Ilford Police Station can also view live footage as incidents happen, putting detectives back in control of crime-fighting.

According to police figures, Redbridge’s CCTV system has assisted or led to more than 2,700 arrests in the last three years.

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Mrs Williams said: “CCTTV gives us a big view of what’s going on. If we can see people plotting or planning a crime, our officers can be directed there.”

Police say about 85 per cent of people caught on CCTV committing acts of crime in Redbridge during the London riots in August have been tracked down and arrested, which officers say shows the strength of the system.

But Mrs Williams does believe CCTV can be a deterrent, as much as a crime-fighting tool.

“We’ve got a really good CCTV network,” she said. “If you’re going to commit a robbery, will you do it if you’ve got cameras watching you?

“Of course there can be really silly people who we get good CCTV of. People in sports centres for instance who are caught on CCTV breaking into lockers.”

Police also have a number of cameras which run car registrations numbers through a system and flag up to detectives if the vehicles is, for example, stolen or the driver does not have insurance.

Cllr Shoaib Patel, cabinet member for community safety, said: “We want members of the public to feel absolutely reassured that none of this is about spying on people or finding out what they’re up to.

“This is all about making the borough safe.”