Going, going, soon to be gone - A senior police officer has voiced his concerns over plans to turn off the CCTV cameras in three UK towns, a move which is expected to take place within a matter of weeks. The Assistant Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary has written to Eden Council, arguing against the permanent withdrawal of 33 cameras located in Penrith, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen, which is designed to save operating costs of around £ 20k ( US$ 32k, € 22k ) per year. - Source - News and Star 14th February 2011
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Looking at what exactly ...? - Preston Council's Crime and Disorder Task Group has been carrying out a comprehensive review of the towns CCTV system, and the results are not good. According to their report, the 22 cameras installed in the bus station failed to produce any arrests over a twelve month period, and overall the 136 cameras located throughout the town failed to provide " .... any evidence that our CCTV system in reality does anything to either deter or detect crime". The system currently costs £ 165k ( US$ 250k, €185k) a year to operate, and in the face of impending austerity measures, is apparantly now overdue for a £ 500k upgrade. - Source - Lancashire Evening Post 14th February 2011
One small step or a giant leap? - The UK's Coalition Government has announced a civil liberties focussed 'Protection of Freedoms' Bill, which includes various CCTV provisions scheduled to be regulated for the first time. Addressing the widescale operation of Public Space Surveillance and ANPR cameras, public sector authorities will be required to adhere to a standardised "Code of Practice", which will be overseen by a soon to be appointed Commissioner. - Source - eGov monitor 14th February 2011 - DJ Comments
Lessons to be learned ... - A lorry driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving, has seen the prosecution withdraw from trial over fundamental procedural mistakes. After an 18 month investigation into the accident involving a 25 year old cyclist, it was discovered that the vital CCTV evidence captured by a camera on the Toll Gate Inn at Old Trafford, was not correctly copied by investigating officers. Greater Manchester Police confirmed that the footage was not fit for trial, and that given the time scale involved, the original recording had long since been deleted. - Source - road.cc 11th February 2011
An obvious case of perestroika? - The city of Moscow is presently covered by around 80,000 CCTV cameras, over half of which are reported as being 'not up to standard'. The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has now ordered the urgent replacement of 40,000 existing units, with the intention of bringing the entire network up to police requirements. - Source - RIA Novosti 7th February 2011
Looks like a smart move - For one highly respected camera shy government officer in Bangalore, India, the concept of transparency and accountability has taken on a novel twist. IAS officer P Manivannan has arranged for two IP Video security cameras to be fitted within his office, and the feeds streamed live on to his official website. - Source - IBN Live 5th February 2011
It's a european thing - The European Parliament building is subject to almost constant surveillance, thanks to a network of over 1,000 CCTV cameras, but unfortunately that hasn't prevented the third serious armed robbery in less than two years. In what is thought by investigators to be an inside job, thieves raided the Parliaments post office safe, escaping with around € 8k (US$ 11k, £ 7.3k). Police are now studying CCTV recordings for any possible clues. - Source - EU Observer 4th February 2011
The cheeks of it!! - An emergency despatcher working for the Glenview police and fire services in Illinois, found himself on the wrong side of the desk after being arrested whilst on duty. The less than modest public servant had earlier been caught on security cameras, running naked around his apartment building. His nocturnal antics which have resulted in a number of previous complaints from residents, have since resulted in two misdemeanour counts of public indecency and lewd exposure. - Source - Glenview Patch 1st February 2011
A tragedy captured on camera - A 45 year old barman from Torquay, Devon is starting an eight year prison sentence for manslaughter, after his lover fell 50 feet from the top deck of a multi storey car park. The accused had previously claimed that the deceased had committed suicide, but recordings from a nearby CCTV camera clearly showed him persuing his 29 year old victim, to her death. - Source - Mirror News 1st February 2011