Restaurant kitchens should be fitted with CCTV cameras amid growing public fears over food safety says installer CCTV.co.uk who believes that customers need to be protected from rogue food outlets with poor food hygiene records, a view backed by up to three-quarters of its customers. The company is convinced that the threat of inspectors and concerned members of the public looking over the shoulder of kitchen staff will improve food safety where other attempts at enforcement have struggled. ” People worry about where their food comes from, particularly in takeaway establishments,” says CCTV.co.uk’s Jonathan Ratcliffe,” and this would be an important step towards peace of mind.” According to figures obtained by the company, 73% of people questioned thought that CCTV in restaurant kitchens would be a good idea. * 93% who supported the idea wanted footage relayed to a screen front-of-house * 67% who supported the idea thought footage should only be available to local authority officials or police Jonathan Ratcliffe is convinced that mandatory cameras would be just another weapon in the battle against bad practice and dirty kitchens in the food service industry. However, despite regular inspections by public health officials and the relative success of ‘Scores on the Doors’ schemes, some businesses need the extra nudge that cameras could bring. ” A huge majority of businesses would have nothing to fear,” he says,” and some owners we’ve spoken to would actually welcome the initiative.” However, CCTV.co.uk admits there’d be resistance from some restaurant and takeaway owners, and there’s certain to be a conversation over the human rights of staff being watched. ” CCTV should be allowed and used as a stick to improve failing food outlets,” says Jonathan.” The threat that health inspectors could call for copies of footage at any time should be enough to concentrate the minds of those who put profit before public health. CCTV would result in cleaner kitchens. I have no doubt.”
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.