This film is part of Free

Durham Constabulary Open Day

70s crowds see CCTV for the first time at the Durham Police Open Day.

Promotional 1973 31 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


The police put on a great show for Durham folk at the local open day in a new state of the art police HQ at Aykley Heads, tempting the crowds with a Jaguar patrol for the kids (shades of The Sweeney), circus tricks by police dog stars, skid track stunts and a staged crime of passion. Amongst the impressive displays of old and new technologies, an exhibition of early CCTV fascinates curious visitors in the 1970s.

During the 1960s and 70s, the traditional bobby on the beat gave way to mobile patrol units, police phone boxes to the two-piece Pye Pocketfone, issued in 1967. The police were busy playing catch-up with the huge changes in post-war society a 600 percent increase in private motor cars between 1940 and 1970, new motorways, dissenting youth culture, communities dispersed in new towns and estates. Police CCTV, piloted in Britain in the 1960s, was by the 1970s surveillance technology for a society in flux.