Crime prevention and prevalence in the UK
Experiments in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s (including outdoor CCTV in Bournemouth in 1985), led to several larger trial programs later that decade.
These were deemed successful in the government report "CCTV: Looking Out For You", issued by the Home Office in 1994, and paved the way for a massive increase in the number of CCTV systems installed. Today, systems cover most town and city centres, and many stations, car-parks and estates.
The exact number of CCTV cameras in the UK is not known but a 2002 working paper by Michael McCahill and Clive Norris of UrbanEye,based on a small sample in Putney High Street, estimated the number of surveillance cameras in private premises in London is around 500,000 and the total number of cameras in the UK is around 4,200,000. Research conducted by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and based on a survey of all Scottish local authorities, identified that there are over 2,200 public space CCTV cameras in Scotland.
According to their estimate the UK has one camera for every 14 people, although it has been acknowledged that the methodology behind this figure is somewhat dubious. The CCTV User Group estimate that there are around 1.5 million CCTV cameras in city centres, stations, airports, major retail areas and so forth. This figure does not include the smaller surveillance systems such as those that may be found in local corner shops.
There is little evidence that CCTV deters crime; in fact, there is considerable evidence that it does not. According to a Liberal Democrat analysis, in London "Police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any." A 2008 Report by UK Police Chiefs concluded that only 3% of crimes were solved by CCTV. In London, a Metropolitan Police report showed that in 2008 only one crime was solved per 1000 cameras.
Cameras have also been installed on public transport in the hope of deterring crime,and in mobile police surveillance vans, often with automatic number plate recognition. In some cases CCTV cameras have become a target of attacks themselves.
On 22 July 2005, Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police at Stockwell tube station. According to brother Giovani Menezes, "The film showed that Jean did not have suspicious behaviour" .
Because of the bombing attempts the previous day, some of the tapes had been supposedly removed from CCTV cameras for study, and they were not functional. An ongoing change to DVR based technology may in future stop similar problems occurring.
The UK cameras were deployed and are maintained by NEP - Roll to Record, a division of NEP Broadcasting.
In October 2009, an "Internet Eyes" website was announced which would pay members of the public to view CCTV camera images from their homes and report any crimes they witnessed. The site aimed to add "more eyes" to cameras which might be insufficiently monitored, but civil liberties campaigners criticised the idea as "a distasteful and a worrying development".
Hacking and video art
Hackers and guerilla artists have exposed the vulnerabilities of the video systems in an act dubbed "video sniffing"They have crossed feeds, uploaded their own video feeds and used the video footage for artistic purposes.
Industrial processes that take place under conditions dangerous for humans are today often supervised by CCTV. These are mainly processes in the chemical industry, the interior of reactors or facilities for manufacture of nuclear fuel. Use of thermographic cameras allow operators to measure the temperature of the processes. The usage of CCTV in such processes is sometimes required by law.
Other news for Tuesday 09 November, 2010
News for Sunday 07 November, 2010
- Thursday 04 November, 2010
- Wednesday 03 November, 2010
- Tuesday 02 November, 2010
- Monday 01 November, 2010
- Thursday 28 October, 2010
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