Tuesday, May 6, 2008

CCTV boom has failed to slash crime, say police

Police officers monitor CCTV screens in the control room at
New Scotland Yard in London.
Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP/Getty images

From the Guardian, UK: "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.

The warning comes from the head of the Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Office (Viido) at New Scotland Yard as the force launches a series of initiatives to try to boost conviction rates using CCTV evidence."

Read on by clicking here.

"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. It's been an utter fiasco: only 3% of crimes were solved by CCTV. There's no fear of CCTV. Why don't people fear it? [They think] the cameras are not working." - DCI Mick Neville, MPS

Sounds familiar to me ...

1 comment:

Doktor Jon said...

This story has had almost wall to wall coverage here in the UK, and although the officers comments are entirely just and factually accurate, the response from other quarters has been somewhat curious to put it politely.

Firstly the story appears to have been a timed release, as the comments were originally made at a conference held about a week before the Mayoral Elections in London.

So having been released to the media, first the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) moved to distance themselves from the comments, and latterly, the officers employer, London's Metropolitan Police Service, have also issued a statement reinforcing their faith in the importance of CCTV.

It sounds suspiciously like the political masters have been tangibly stung by the truth, and that's just not guaranteed to go down too well.

I somehow doubt that the comments were ever intended to create the controversy that's resulted, but if speaking the truth was ever likely to cause a reaction, let the games commence ....