Is it a bird, is it a plane ...? - Outside of London, Helsinki is thought to have the second highest density of security cameras in Europe, but now four more units have been installed in the Finnish capital, looking out for a rather unusual target. "Pteromys volans" otherwise knows as the Siberian flying squirrel is a rare protected species that has become the subject of a one year research project, using surveillance cameras to study their gliding abilities when attempting to cross a busy highway. - Source - Helsingin Sanomat 15th May 2011
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Got your TV licenced yet? - In an attempt to tackle increasing criminality in Quezon City in the Philippines, Mayor Herbert Bautista passed an ordinance making it mandatory for all businesses to have CCTV in place by the end of the year. Failure to comply after Januray 2012 will result in a business not having it's permit to trade renewed. - Source - Journal Online 15th May 2011
Authority perplexed by CCTV cuts - Salford City Council in Manchester, UK responded to local residents concerns about anti social behaviour, by installing a CCTV camera to tackle the problems. Despite early successes, vandals decided instead to take down the camera's pole using a portable saw. Police are now appealing for witnesses to come forward. - Source - Belfast Telegraph 14th May 2011
Paws, rewind then play - There's many a break in caught on security cameras, but for managers at the Fairbanks North Star Borough animal shelter in Alaska, their CCTV system captured a rather unusual incursion. In the early hours of the morning, a 2 year old husky cross dog who staff have nicknamed Albert, dug his way under the perimeter fence before carrying out a similar excavatory exercise on an inner barrier. He's since settled in well and is getting to know all the other sled dogs in the home, as he awaits an adoption. - Source - Newsminer.com 14th May 2011
All was not what it seemed - A nightclub bouncer has been acquitted of assault charges, five years after the alleged incident was supposed to have taken place. After CCTV recordings were shown to the magistrate in the Maltese court, it quickly became apparent that the seriously injured "victim" who filed the original complaint, was in fact one of two men who actually attacked the door supervisor. - Source - Times of Malta 11th May 2011
Facewatch goes forth - During a successful initial six month trial in south London, the 45 businesses that took part in the Facewatch pilot scheme reported that 39% of all incidents recorded have since led to criminal convictions. Now the unique CCTV and crime reporting website is being rolled out in Widnes, Cheshire in the latest phase of it's expansion. - Source - Sky News 11th May 2011
There's dumb, and there's stupid ... - A 55 year old woman from Minnetonka in the US, has been charged with two counts of felony first degree property damage, after she was recorded spray painting the lenses on four security cameras dotted around her condo complex. She apparently carried out the vandalism as a protest against what she perceived as the management wasting money; if convicted, she faces up to ten years imprisonment. - Source - Minnetonka Patch 10th May 2011
The demise of a champion - Following on from the humiliating debacle of covert CCTV surveillance having been discovered in Birmingham's mostly ethnic suburbs, workers have now started to remove some of the 218 offending cameras, that were being operated without consultation under a police operation named Project Champion. - Source - Birmingham Post 10th May 2011
Dozey workers fail to impress - Steel workers at the Tata plant in Port Talbot, Wales, have been shocked to discover that management had installed hidden cameras to identify employees caught sleeping on the job. As a result of the investigation, thirteen workers were dismissed for their excessively somnolent shift work. - Source - BBCNews 9th May 2011
Houston, he has a problem - Fraudulent card purchases happen all the time, but for one hapless thief, his choice of victim couldn't really have been much worse. After $ 4,000 of retail purchases were made using a card account belonging to a US Secret Service agent on assignment in Washington, his colleagues quickly located store security camera recordings to help identify and locate the Houston based thief, who is now awaiting trial on various felony charges. - Source - Examiner.com 7th May 2011
Smart car, left smarting - Richmond Council in South London, is faced with the embarassing prospect of having to repay up to £ 1m in traffic penalty fines ( US$ 1.6m, € 1.1m ), after it was revealed that their Smart CCTV enforcement cars are fitted with the wrong type of camera. The actual resolution of the unit being used is a couple of percent lower than the minimum performance required for it to be classed as an "approved device", so all the penalties that have been issued so far, are effectively now deemed unlawful. - Source - Mail Online 6th May 2011
The latest cereal on television - It's been reported that the Food Ministry has directed that all warehouse and storage facilities operated by the Food Corporation of India, will in future benefit from CCTV monitoring to help regulate the movement and distribution of valuable grain stocks. It's hoped that the initial pilot project will help to impact on an estimated loss of up to 40% of grain stocks, which for various reasons never manage to get through to their intended markets. - Source - Commodity Online 6th May 2011
Plate readers in overdrive - The Government has confirmed that there are currently 4,225 ANPR cameras being used by police forces across the UK, with an unspecified number of additional units being operated by other agencies. Transport Minister Mike Penning MP has indicated that the advanced vehicle licence plate capture technology is increasingly being used to tackle the problems caused by almost 1.5 million uninsured drivers using the country's roads. - Source - UKauthorITy.com 6th May 2011
A sign of the times - 22 year old Martin Peaple thought he was doing motorists a favour, when he stood outside the local shops with a placard, warning about the presence of the Bexley Council CCTV traffic enforcement vehicle. Shopkeepers had been complaining about the council driving away trade, but now following a visit from local police where he was shown images of himself captured by the CCTV car, he has apparently been told in no uncertain terms that he must desist from his unacceptable behaviour. - Source - News Shopper 5th May 2011
Driving criminals off the roads - Following consultation with the Information Commissioner, the National Policing Improvement Authority (NPIA) have introduced the latest version of their ANPR software, which is now being used by all UK police forces. The updated system integrates both the National ANPR Data Centre with the Police National Computer, so any of the approximately 15 million vehicle records generated each day, can be instantly compared against data held on "vehicles of interest" - Source - Police Professional 3rd May 2011
Now that's lucky - A security video has recently appeared on YouTube which appears to show a man having a rather lucky escape. Well to be accurate it's more like two lucky escapes, as having walked past the CCTV camera he is almost immediately struck by lightning. A short time later, having regained consciousness and what little vestige of dignity still remained, he struggled to his feet, managed a few steps along the driveway, before yet another bolt decided he was even more attractive than he realised. The clip ends with him having for the second time regained the use of his legs, as he staggers away out of camera shot. - Source - Examiner.com 3rd May 2011
When the fish have had their chips - The recently opened Underwater World specialist exotic fish emporium in Helena, Montana, has become the target of a particularly unpleasant and unusual crime. A suspect was clearly recorded on camera engaging the stores owner in conversation, then when he looked away, dropped a white powder substance into the fish tanks. The systematic attack on a number of tanks, resulted in almost $ 5k worth of stock being poisoned, enough to potentially put the distraught owner out of business. - Source - 9KHLH 2nd May 2011
Not such a g'day at the office - The Australian Workers Union are becoming increasingly concerned that employers are adopting video surveillance, to monitor their employees in the workplace. As the list of snooped on trades people grows by the day, the AWU are launching a campaign to persuade companies not to monitor their staff during working hours. - Source - The Telegraph 1st May 2011