What lessons learned ...? - Research funded by Salford University, has found that children in UK schools, are likely to experience levels of video surveillance normally reserved for prisons and airports. Finding that many schools fail to uphold the basic requirements of the Data Protection Act, Dr. Emmeline Taylor who carried out the research, commented that " ... the law apparently protecting our civil liberties is so impotent that it offers nothing by way of protection". - Source - Telegraph.co.uk 15th March 2010
Subway surveillance short on success - The New York MTA has revealed that out of 4,313 security cameras installed throughout the city's subway underground train system, almost half are not working due to technical issues. With 'dead zones' reported in 23 stations, the problems have been put down to power supply and software issues. - Source - AM New York 14th March 2010
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They're back ... and better than ever! - Last year, controversy surrounded the switching off of one hundred street surveillance CCTV cameras, just days before the G20 summit in London. Now almost twelve months later and costing taxpayers some £ 830k ($ 1.25m, €915k ) in equipment and software upgrades, the City of Westminster's £ 15 million network of wireless high tech surveillance cameras, can once again be used, to issue Penalty Charge Notices for motoring offences. The cameras were originally ordered to be turned off, following a minor technical change in the law that meant the cameras were on paper alone, not for fit for purpose- Source - West End Extra 12 th March 2010
For a night to remember - Less than happy bouncers (door security staff) have extended an open invitation to councillors in Exeter, Devon, UK to join them on a typical night shift outside the city's clubs. This suggestion follows a council budget meeting where it was agreed to cut staff from the CCTV Control Room, in a cost saving exercise designed to help balance the books. - Source - This is Exeter.co.uk 11th March 2010
Seeing through the smoke - The City of New York's Fire department have entered into an agreement with the SecureWatch 24 remote video monitoring company, to gain access to some of their clients security camera systems. Given the huge number of commercial and residential properties that now benefit from comprehensive CCTV systems, where the owners are agreeable, officers will now be able to access video feeds to assist operational response and investigation of any fire calls received. - Source - Government Video 10th March 2010
Now you see them, now you don't .... - Having installed a city wide network of high visibility "blue light" surveillance cameras, the Chicago Police department are now reportedly looking at the possibility of installing covert units to target certain categories of crime, that are not currently being either deterred or detected. - Source - Chicago Tribune 10th March 2010
A desire to stop the burning - The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has recently deployed high resolution video surveillance on a vital fire watch mission. A number of unmanned lookout towers in El Dorado County have been equipped with imaging systems connected back to the CAL FIRE Command Centre using wireless microwave links, and if proven successful, the project will be rolled out to additional locations at risk of forest fires, throughout the state - Source - Microwave Journal 10th March 2010
Slipped up with that disc - Following a break in at the Bitterne Leisure Centre in Southampton, UK, police were stumped for clues as to the identity of the intruders. Now seven months after thieves removed the DVD from the sites video security recorder, the vital disc has been accidentaly discovered by a litter picker, discarded in bushes a short distance from the scene of the crime. Investigating officers are delighted that despite being out in all weathers, the disc has still managed to playback clear recordings of the hooded suspects - Source - Southern Daily Echo 9th March 2010
Sinking to new lows - Parents are reportedly outraged, after they discovered that their childrens school had installed CCTV cameras in the pupils toilets. Apparently during the half term holidays, the Grace Academy in Chelmley Wood, Birmingham, UK fitted security cameras into the washrooms, triggering outrage from some parents over their childrens privacy being ignored.- Source - Sky News 9th March 2010
Now that'll teach them - Councillors from Llandovery Town Council in South Wales, have been left fuming after their new CCTV system was installed, without anyone knowing how to use it. The Heritage Centre's camera and recording equipment was supplied and fitted, with only a supporting technical instruction manual provided, that has been described as "incomprehensible". A councillor has been quoted as saying that he hoped somebody will be able to give them a training session, so that the equipment can be used. - Source - South Wales Guardian 8th March 2010
Dallas ... starting a surveillance dynasty? - Since installing 11 street surveillance cameras in Uptown Dallas, police have reported a double digit drop in crime. With a total of 112 cameras now being used citywide, the latest to be installed have already assisted with 91 emergency calls, and resulted in nine arrests since the start of the year. - Source - NBC-DFW 4th March 2010
High tech monitoring in the Emirates - It's been reported that the Critical National Infrastructure Authority is planning to install 'state of the art' surveillance towers throughout Abu Dhabi, and sophisticated thermal imaging equipment along the coastline. The project which will see the use of radar equipped imaging systems, is expected to cost around $ 120m and is due for completion by early in 2011 - Source - Top News Arab Emirates 4th March 2010
A hard lesson in economics - News from the States, where as part of an almost $ 42m spend on improving overall security, the Detroit Public Schools authority is reportedly planning to invest $17.3 million installing video surveillance in their buildings. The not insignificant sum is set to provide just 100 remote access cameras in High Schools, 32 in Kindergartens and grade 8 schools, and a further 24 to be installed in elementary's. - Source - Freep.com 4th March 2010
Forensic Surveillance put to the test - Following the recent assassination of a high ranking Hamas official, the police in Dubai have been giving further details on their investigations and use of Closed Circuit Television. According to an interview with police chiefs, the 27 suspects were quickly identified after 648 hours of video recordings were collated, in material gathered from around 10,000 cameras located throughout the city. Despite having very strict privacy regulations in place, sophisticated camera schemes have been widely deployed to provide an effective post event investigative tool, which has graphically demonstrated the technologies capabilities - Source - Asharq Al-Awsat 3rd March 2010
A bridge too far ...? - Scientists at two West Country universities in the UK, are currently evaluating the possibility of developing facial recognition systems based on the shape of a persons nose. With global research already testing the viability of eye, ear and facial point recognition, the humble olfactory organ may provide hidden potential for developing a more basic method of tracking individuals on large area CCTV systems - Source - thestar.com 3rd March 2010
Didn't see that coming - The boys in blue were left with red faces, after a female senior constable working for the Victoria Police in Australia, took the forces mobile CCTV vehicle out for a spin. Whilst en route to deploy the CCTV van at a community event, the hapless constable drive below an underpass, and managed to rip off one of the cameras, without even realising it. Fortunately, the remnants of the camera equipment were recovered from the roadway by a passing member of the public, and handed in to the local police station. The vehicle is currently 'off duty' whilst the overall cost to repair is being assessed - Source - The Age 1st March 2010