CCTV Cameras: £XXBn + 4.2m cameras = " an utter fiasco"

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Blogg, May 6, 2008.

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  1. Another triumph of spin over common sense.

    Senior officer says CCTV use "a fiasco"

    LONDON (Reuters) - Billions of pounds spent by Britain on security cameras has failed to cut crime and has been "an utter fiasco", a senior detective was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

    Britain has the most surveillance in the world, according to civil liberty groups and security experts, with an estimated 4.2 million closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in place on buildings, shops, roads and train stations.

    But the Guardian newspaper reported Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville of London police as saying that only 3 percent of the capital's street robberies were solved using CCTV footage and criminals were not afraid of being caught on camera.

    "CCTV was originally seen as a preventative measure," said Neville, head of the Metropolitan police's division on visual images, identifications and detections.

    "Billions of pounds has been spent on kit, but no thought has gone into how the police are going to use the images and how they will be used in court," he told the Security Document World Conference in London, according to the Guardian.

    "It's been an utter fiasco."

    Neville's comments echo a government report last October which said most CCTV footage was not of good enough quality to help police identify offenders and many cameras were focused on enforcing bus lanes as well as stopping crime.

    It said anecdotal evidence suggested that over 80 percent of CCTV images supplied to the police was not up to scratch.

    Neville is now leading an initiative to increase conviction rates from CCTV by setting up a database of images to track down offenders and to put pictures of suspects in crimes such as muggings and rape on the Internet, the Guardian said.

    "This has got to be balanced against any Big Brother concerns, with safeguards," he said.

    Work is underway on whether software can be developed to perform automated searches for suspects on footage, while Neville said officers needed more training on using CCTV with many put off because "it's hard work".
  2. Well that was suprising, who would have guessed? 8O
  3. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    They are finding far more useful and productive things to use these cameras for of course - nailing errant drivers in bus lanes and those without tax - solving crime doesn't pay, but nailing drivers for more taxes does.
  4. What's the point of CCTV if it has not reduced crime? And if an offender is recorded vandalsing a car but the Police say vandalism is not a crime, wont act or convict then again, what's the point of it all?
  5. I particularly like the idea of some spotty cctv controller telling me not to drop my chip wrapper or to take my feet off the bench or some other banal criminal act, via the cctv linked audio. :x
  6. The Criminal Damage Act 1971 seems to cover vandalism adequately.

    Cameras are only any real use if someone is monitoring them and it is surprising that the pics of offending vehicles are always OK but not the ones of robbers and hooligans. But, are we surprised. Detect a crime and you may have to send someone to prison. You only have to fine a motorist.
  7. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    I suspect number plates are far easier to ID than faces. Add the fact that car owners are far more used to being fined and don't need court cases it is not altogether surprising.

    Speaking personally, I'd rather there was a camera than not.

  8. this fellas keen on expanding the idea.
  9. A friend of mine was beaten unconcious,kicked,hit with planks ripped off a bench,and stamped onby a stilleto heel. He was in a coma for 6 weeks and woke up with massive brain damage. Eccles is thouroughly camered,but sadly the council forgot when they put up the cameras that the trees grow leaves.
    No usable images from them have ever been found,and no-one ever got charged. CCTV is to watch the population,not solve crimes
  10. As has been said above its an other easy cash cow for getting money off the masses and not actually god forbid conviciting anybody.

    String them up thats what I say... :twisted:
  11. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville of London police has an agenda and is, in my view, talking absolute cock.

    "Billions of pounds spent by Britain on security cameras". Thats not your tax pounds. The vast majority of CCTV in the UK is payed for by private companies. HMG did not fund the cameras in Tesco that stop Chavs driving off with a full tank, the cost of which would be passed on to you BTW.

    As for CCTV being an "an utter fiasco", I wonder if Mick watches Crimewatch. Where almost every week a grainy CCTV shot leads to a call, and an arrest. As it did at Soham. As it did in my town recently where a Muppet was filmed filling a can with petrol shortly before torching his ex girls house. It was CCTV that swung the conviction.

    Quality is an issue. If you spend a couple hundred pounds and re-use a cartridge until its worn out, yeah, you'll get crap images. Use a high end didital rig and you'll get crystal clear images with night vision enhancement if you want. Its the clapped out Ford Fiesta vs the Aston Martin.

    Nice pitch for more training resources there Mike, and its a damned shame your chaps find sitting in front of a TV screen all day 'hard work'.

    Automated searches triggered by software Mike? Heh. Theres something you're not telling us, isnt there?

    *Caution - Tinfoil Hat Area*

    This software... it can spot a suspect by automatically searching archive footage? So it can also spot a suspect by scanning live footage, yes?

    CCTV able to identify anybody in a crowd, whether they are wearing a hat or a disguise? I bet theres a few quid in that piece of kit?