Combing through CCTV pays dividends - 44year old Darren Dixon is probably not a huge fan of CCTV, not least because he was caught on camera stalking his attractive 19 year old student victim through the streets of Manchester, before taking out a pair of scissors and cutting off a chunk of her shoulder length red hair. Having carried out a second attack on another victim a month later, his image was released by police and he was quickly arrested. Sentencing at court has been deferred pending a psychiatric evaluation. - Source - Daily Mail 15th February 2012
Something's not right ... so it is - It's been revealed by the City Council that out of 166 Public Space CCTV cameras dotted around Dublin, almost a quarter are not working. 22 areas have been identified where the cameras have failed, and whilst 36 replacement units have been promised for six of the neediest locations, repairs that remain outstanding are still apparently "subject to funding". - Source - Irish Examiner 12th February 2012
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Sounds like a bad plan - A 32 year old man from Bellingham, Washington State, thought it was a great idea to sell a map showing the locations of video surveillance cameras dotted along part of the US and Canada border. Even better when a local drug smuggler offered him $ 6,000 for the plan, that is until he discovered the buyer was in fact an undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent. In trying to evade arrest he ended up getting himself tasered, and thanks to the local court house he's now serving a 1 year jail term. - Source - Bellingham Herald 10th February 2012
The fastest camera car in the west - When a motorist decided to carefully pull off the road to drop off her passenger, she obviously thought that her actions would avoid any inconvenience and obstruction to other road users. But for the parking enforcement officers working for Sutton Council, south of London, the opportunity to issue a £ 55 penalty charge ( US$ 84, € 62 ) using their vehicle mounted CCTV, was just too good an opportunity to waste. So in less than 19 seconds, the dastardly deed was captured on camera and the hapless motorist can at the very least be assured by the words of the local councillor, who said " Sutton Council takes a firm but fair approach to parking ...". - Source - Sutton Guardian 9th February 2012
It's not always good to share - In a move never likely to win fans amongst civil libertarians, the police in Lower Saxony, Germany, have started putting images of crime suspects on their Facebook page. Despite the move being welcomed by the state interior minister Uwe Schuenemann, the state commissioner for data protection Joachim Wahlbrink is less impressed, highlighting the fact that any personal data placed on the internet, particularly if it's in breach of european data protection laws, is almost impossible to remove - Source - Reuters 7th February 2012
You've got to laugh .... - An eagle eyed CCTV Operator spotted a suspicious looking man hanging around in a small market town in Sussex, in an area apparently subject to a recent spate of burglaries. Having quickly radio'd the details and location to an undercover officer deployed as part of the ongoing investigation, the probationary constable immediately gave chase. Unfortunately for him, over a period of about 20 minutes of intensive CCTV co-ordinated pursuit through the back streets, he eventually had to give up the chase when the duty sergeant realising that he'd actually been trying to apprehend himself, became consumed with hysterical laughter. - Source - The Telegraph 7th February 2012
Now who's the guilty one? - A second degree assault charge against a 19 year old man, has been dropped after the Prince George's County state attorney's office reviewed a CCTV recording which conflicted with the account given by the arresting officer. The veteran Maryland police corporal claimed that the man tried to reach for a gun, forcing him to discharge his own weapon in self defence, but the recording apparently tells a different story. A second officer is also under investigation for providing a less than accurate account. - Source - Gazette.Net 7th February 2012
It's not a pretty picture - It's been reported that on an average day, almost 50% of Philadelphia's street surveillance cameras are not actually operable, and the remainder that are working have been described by one detective as " ... a white elephant from day one". Problems with camera location, lack of night sensitivity and an inability to capture faces clearly, have all been highlighted as common issues throughout the system. - Source - philly.com 7th February 2012
You never know who's watching - A popular range of web based security cameras have been cited as carrying a software flaw that easily allows unauthorised access to their video streams. Manufacturer Trendnet confirmed that they were aware of the problem, and that 26 models had recently been identified as potentially vulnerable to a very simple mistake in their coding. A fix was promised within a matter of days - Source - BBC News 7th February 2012
All talk, don't walk ... then silence - Camden Council in North London is the latest local authority to put their mouth where other peoples feet are, so to speak, with the deployment of a new type of 'Talking CCTV'. The Walker House Estate near St . Pancras has been fitted with CCTV cameras that are linked to automatic recorded messages, so anyone that happens to stroll within range are suddenly informed that they are in a restricted area, and should move away immediately. Somewhat predictably the idea has not gone down well with privacy campaigners, but within hours of the story being published, the council issued a statement to the effect that the pre recorded message should never have been turned on in the first place, and would be switched off as soon as possible. - Source - The Telegraph and supplementary piece 6th February 2012
Not a lot of people know this - Concerns about the use of video surveillance and in particular the privacy and civil liberty implications, are now almost universal. No surprise then that the Information and Privacy Commissioner in British Columbia, Canada, has decided to launch an initiative to educate the public about the way in which CCTV is used in the private sector, and what the implications are in terms of upholding privacy requirements. To get things underway, the Commissioner is conducting a survey of retailers, to find out how well the rules on video surveillance are understood, and equally whether they are being upheld. - Source - Coast Reporter 1st February 2012
A recipe for success? - Amongst the almost constant stream of market reports that appear virtually on a daily basis, the latest offering from MarketsandMarkets, suggests that the size of the global cake for video surveillance products is forecast to reach a mouth watering $ 25.43 billion by 2016. - Source - PR Newswire 1st February 2012
Watching as shoppers walk 'n buy - It may be over twenty years since CCTV was first used to carry out market research in the retail sector, but now a US company Prism Skylabs, is taking the idea one step further. Their shopper monitoring system is designed to operate with existing security cameras, providing detailed insights as to how 'guests' move around in a retail space, and producing animated graphics that help retailers plan displays and decide on the ideal layout for their shops and stores. According to Steve Russell, the company CEO "There's a lot of wonderful information locked up in video ..." - Source - Technology Review 1st February 2012