Police approved CCTV / audio recording to be made a legal requirement for care homes.
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CCTV is rightly to be made compulsory in slaughterhouses due to concerns about potential cruelty to animals.
Unexplained deaths and injuries sustained in care homes continue to appear in the media and are, for the most part, unexplained. The level of successful police prosecutions are minimal in comparison to the number of investigations carried out. This is largely due to the burden of proof required in such cases to obtain a criminal conviction.
This leaves relatives with a sense of mistrust about the care home sector and causes considerable distress to families of injured relatives. CCTV / audio recording in care homes would aid police investigation as well as raising standards seen in the sector generally.
Police approved and appropriately controlled and tamper proof camera systems should be introduced as a compulsory feature for all new care home registrations and also for those that deliver poor standards of care. This could be widened to all care homes within 5 years. Relatives should be given the option to have cameras on or off.
The money saved in lengthy police / local council investigations would more than pay for installation, as manufacturing costs of this sort of equipment has fallen dramatically in recent years.
The usual defence put forward for cameras is protection of privacy, but care homes do not seem to ban staff from taking mobile phones in to work / patients rooms. Those of us lucky to live outside a care home are protected by camera many times a day so it seems inappropriate that the most vulnerable in society are not protected by them.
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