Thursday, May 2, 2013

The call for more CCTV in the US

If CCTV cameras prevented crime, places like NY and London would be the safest places in the world. But, they're not. As we've previously noted, ""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."

Now, folks are remarking at the private video footage that aided in the identification of the Boston bombing suspect in their call for more cooperation between private CCTV system owners and law enforcement.

When government does anything, it tends to be very expensive and more for political optics than for actual problem solving. Most of the private systems bought from big-box stores at around $600 (for 8 cameras and a DVR) can be put on the owner's DSL line and accessed by law enforcement when necessary. This seems the more intelligent option, if the owners choose to participate.

But again, whilst properly configured CCTV systems help in the investigation of crimes, as the UK has shown, they tend to have little preventative effect.

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