On Tuesday, 20th May 2008, a Mobile CCTV unit was parked in the middle of Kirkcaldy High Street. The day was hot, clear and sunny. The street busy with shoppers. The entire area that the mobile CCTV van could cover was already covered by other CCTV cameras.
Either this was a show of force, a thoughtless use of resources, or - as the operator, who bounced out of the van and accosted me for staring at it in an obtrusive manner, said - it is a necessary evil. An evil, indeed.
I was told that if I had a problem with CCTV, I should ring the number on the side of the van, the number of the Fife Community Safety Partnership: 01592-418888. Given that this is - by implication - the number to call for complaints about CCTV, I would encourage anyone with an interest in the area to call this number and register your objection.
Simply remember this: it should be the expectation of every liberal and democratic townsperson that the final say in matters of local policing belongs to democratic institutions. This is not an executive policy matter. It is a matter political in the proper sense of the word.