This highlights one of the shortfalls of town surveillance cameras - their use is actually twofold, and when one purpose fails to achieve what it was supposed to, people can at least turn to the other. But when both fail, suddenly people wake up to the world they actually live in.
The first purpose is, as given in the two articles above, to catch video evidence of people committing crime (or anti-social behaviour, or whatever your gripe is this week), so the perps can be caught to be
The second purpose (as used to be pointed out all the time, I'm sure) is as a preventative measure - the theory being that if you think you're being watched, you're less likely to go ahead with the crime you're thinking of.*
Alas, in reality it turns out that people don't really care if they're being watched. Or if they do, then they're smart enough to at least keep half an eye on which direction the visible cameras are pointing in - no big deal. Hey - maybe there was something to the suggestion that CCTV merely displaces crime after all? "Time-shifting" might also be applicable here too...
The big assumption in our application of surveillance systems is that, somehow, by letting people know we're watching them, people will "improve". All this talk of ID, more cameras, more policemen, etc all assumes that the places in which we live can be improved by this monitoring - and by extension, we recapture the idea of a "civil society" that we like to romanticise about.
What a sham. If we're really honest with ourselves, all monitoring does is lock down the public face of our nation, allowing us in our public capacity to simply sweep aside all the factors that lead to the crime and attitude we're experiencing every day. By forcing the streets to behave and look nice for visitors (including ourselves), we can comfortably ignore the deep social distress being hidden by private walls and fences.
The second article above mentions that "a high visibility operation ..., in response to these concerns, had been a success." More officers works in the short term for the simple reason that they can react instantly. They are both the piercing eye of the CCTV camera and the radio link from surveillance central to the police station. But they do nothing to actually show us how we should behave, or what we can achieve if we're allowed to.
* On a side note, this thinking has now been extended on buses where I live. A monitor downstairs, in full public view, reflects the views from a dozen cameras around the bus. This is clearly not for the driver's attention as he/she can't see it. The obvious intention is that instant social embarassment is more of a deterrent that just having a camera watch you. I await the scheme's failure.