Brent is a multicultural area with over 100 languages spoken in an area of 4325 hectares and with a population of 263464 people. It has an average rating of the percentage of adults in jobs, over a 1/4 of the population of Brent own their houses with a mortgage or loan, a minority of 10% receive housing from the council. The borough contains over 20 primary schools and High schools. Over 80% of the population is literate in English. And redevelopment projects in deprived areas like Harlesden are giving life back to the community. Housing redevelopments in areas like Stonebridge create safer and more pleasant environments for the tenants and owners to live in.
Brent has varying degrees in crime depending on the area in respect. Crimes like sexual offences, robbery, drug offences have gone down since a few years back. But an increase in crimes like crimes against the person (e.g. assault) has considerably risen by the thousands. Other crimes like burglary have increased slightly. Although areas like Stonebridge, Harlesden and Kensal rise have notorious reputations for crime, the truth is the situation is being bettered. By more police presence and patrols and a better police response to crime.
The need of the community to reduce the crime rate is that the streets need to be monitored more closely to reduce the more common crimes like assault, in the monitoring of these offices the perpetrators can be identified and hopefully brought to justice. They can also be used as evidence in court if needed. More CCTV in dangerous areas will
also deter offenders. CCTV when placed correctly e.g. either in clear view to deter offences or more hidden to monitor an area where there is suspects. In Brent there are many safety measures and schemes being put into place to help keep the roads safer for young and old alike. Schemes like the ‘save the neighbourhood scheme in Harlesden being aided by Metroline to help raise road awareness. With the help of companies like Metroline road casualties and incidents are being cut down. Technologies like road cameras to capture dangerous drivers.
There are 3 sports centres in Brent that offer entertainment and services such as a sports hall and gym along with a venue hall to accommodate events. Brent Vale sports centre, Wilson leisure centre and the Bridge Park complex. They are all lacking in equipment and are under funded by the government. They can also become breeding grounds for violence gangs and drug meeting area for criminals, the Bridge Park complex was one such area but the council invested a lot of money and time to get rid of the drug dealers and trouble makers. Jobs could be used to help get young people of the streets and into a good job.
In Brent there is a high rate of unemployment because there are a lot of low skilled immigrants who do not know how to take advantage of courses offered by the council to
gain new skill or re skill. If the people were made more aware of the things on offer on an everyday basis these people would apply for courses hopefully pass and get a job to lower unemployment rates. By advertising these free courses e.g. on TV there would be more people enrolling in courses. So by advertising these courses people can get into a satisfying job that they are able to hold down and that can support them.
Brent has a high number of offenders. And it is a hard job keeping track of them all and making sure they do not re-offend. The police keep track of offenders by having a criminal database which has records on each person who has committed an offence and what it was when it was committed etc. There is a need for databases because without them it would be near impossible for police to examine whether someone has offended before or not. Databases also help police to make the decision whether or not to arrest a person who has been stopped on suspicious grounds. A quick check on the car database will reveal whether the person has a clean record or has offended before.
In Brent there is a lack of enough phone companies and communication technologies. Most of the phone lines in Brent were laid down and are still owned by BT this means that lots of people who do not want to be with BT face the choice of either staying with BT or paying higher charges on their phones with other phone companies. There is also a need of communication as when the unemployed get into a job they will need a mobile phone to communicate with workmates and friends. It is also a very good advantage to have a mobile phone in today’s day and age.
CCTV (closed circuit television) is the use of cameras, either placed secretively to observe and monitor an area, or placed openly to deter offenders. It is a means by which crime rates are reduced in areas which are dogged by high crime rate and youth offenders. CCTV is able to capture images of offenders or a chain of events to be used as evidence in court. CCTV is fed back to 1 or more main control rooms where a number of personnel scan the various cameras to locate a problem and take appropriate action. CCTV has been in place since 1961 and is used up to this date. CCTV uses a series of coaxial cables and records the images onto a hard drive to be reused at later date. Since installation of CCTV in problem areas, police say crime rates have dropped. The use of CCTV is regulated by a series of rules in the privacy protection act.
Brent has a need for CCTV as it is an area that is plagued by gangs, drug crime, gun crime and other forms of crime such as vandalism. The installation and monitoring of CCTV will help as it will deter offenders and it will help sentence criminals when used in court as evidence. CCTV also helps build up a picture of the crime rate of the area. Although CCTV is expensive and quickly becomes redundant and the older versions do not record in real time. CCTV meets the need I’ve identified by monitoring areas and helping make a better and safer area for people to live in. It does not meet the need as CCTV is restricted by the location it is placed in. When placed openly it may deter criminals but it might push offenders into a different area without CCTV therefore causing problems for that area.
CCTV could be improved by either installing high tech CCTV that can record crystal clear images to ensure there is no confusion of identity. CCTV could be improved by installing a grid network and ensuring there is no area left unseen in problem areas. This would be an expensive process but would greatly improve the quality of life of people. I believe there is no technology that meets this particular need better than CCTV as it has been created to serve this need specifically.
My second technology is databases. Databases are an invaluable resource used by a number of organizations namely the police force. Who use databases on a daily basis as an information source on past and present offenders. Databases where made in the early 50’s and became cost effective methods for data storage for private companies. Data bases are also used by other things like health records, a doctor can simply type you name and view a list of every prescription and symptom you’ve come to him about. This is good in the sense that it is less time consuming and allows the doctor to compare your previous ailments, but it creates the security problem of who can view and access this type of data. Although new ways of protecting and encoding this data are being come up with every day new ways of getting to this data are also being made.
It meets the needs of the community as it provides a fast and effective means for the police force to come up with previous evidence on criminals, allows doctors to access patients medical records and much more.
Databases can store huge amounts of data that can be accessed and viewed at anytime by authorized personnel, this ability to recall a specific piece of data using a query or a search. This saves a lot of time and effort on the part of the person or organisation using the database. Databases allow this vast amount of info to be organised efficiently so it can be used with ease later on. The police need info on the growing number of offenders that are under 18. Tabs could be kept on these young offenders so if they offend again they are dealt with correctly. Police are able to simply type in the number plate on a car and the database recalls any information known about the car, where it was bought, who owns it, whether it is reported stolen, or if the license plate is a fake.
Databases although they are equipped with security are still vulnerable to the many hackers and unauthorized personnel after such data for miscellaneous ends. Some databases such as large SQL databases are also expensive and require a lot of maintenance and updating. Databases could come with more high tech means of stopping these intruders trying to get at the information and trace them so the necessary actions could be taken. Other technologies such as CCTV could be integrated with databases to run searches on cars and so on so the work load of the police could be cut.