WHEN the CCTV cameras were launched in Cowley Road in January 2009, one of the main arguments against the idea was they would push criminal activity into the side streets.

Now it seems those fears – at least when it comes to drug dealing – were justified.

Perhaps that in itself is not surprising. What is more interesting is the frankness of East Oxford inspector Marc Tarbit in talking about the issue.

If only his superiors were as open and would release figures on the number of crimes in the street and how often the cameras had been used to catch criminals.

And if, as they say, those figures are not searchable, how can police possibly formulate an effective strategy to fight crime in the area?