Ramblings & ephemera

Surveillance cameras don’t reduce crime

From BBC News’ “CCTV boom ‘failing to cut crime’” (6 May 2008):

Huge investment in closed-circuit TV technology has failed to cut UK crime, a senior police officer has warned.

Det Ch Insp Mick Neville said the system was an “utter fiasco” – with only 3% of London’s street robberies being solved using security cameras.

Although Britain had more cameras than any other European country, he said “no thought” had gone into how to use them.

Speaking at the Security Document World Conference in London, Det Ch Insp Neville, the head of the Met’s Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Office (Viido), said one of the problems was that criminals were not afraid of cameras.

He also said more training was needed for officers who often avoided trawling through CCTV images “because it’s hard work”.

One study suggests there may be more than 4.2 million CCTV cameras in the UK – the majority on private property – but until Viido was set up in September 2006 there had been no dedicated police unit to deal with the collection and dissemination of CCTV evidence.

From Owen Bowcott’s “CCTV boom has failed to slash crime, say police” (The Guardian: 6 May 2008):

Massive investment in CCTV cameras to prevent crime in the UK has failed to have a significant impact, despite billions of pounds spent on the new technology, a senior police officer piloting a new database has warned. Only 3% of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images, despite the fact that Britain has more security cameras than any other country in Europe.

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