Why oh why were they not fixed ...? - Embarassed councillors and officials in Newcastle have been forced to apologise after it emerged that at least 18 street surveillance cameras have not been working for some time. Following a recent cashpoint robbery by armed bandits, it emerged that the CCTV camera which could have provided vital evidence, has in fact been out of action for almost four years. - Source - Chronicle Live.co.uk 31st October 2011
The only way in Essex - Plans are afoot to close the current CCTV Control Room in Southend, and re-locate the facility to the towns Civic Center. The move is just part of the latest cost cutting exercise, which will in future see the council's 280 Public Space Surveillance cameras monitored by two CCTV Operators at all times. - Source - Echo News 30th October 2011
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Tale of the cat burglar with not quite the purrfect ending ..... - The complicated love life of an english MP is hardly news these days, but when his wife breaks in to his mistresses home and steals her kitten, and it's all caught on CCTV, suddenly the nation wants to know more. Having released the kitty to fend for itself, the wife was convicted in court of theft based on video evidence, and received a nine month suspended jail term, 150 hours of community service and was ordered to pay £ 1,000 costs ( $ 1,500, € 1,100 ). Fortunately the famous feline was eventually recovered safe, well and somewhat preganant, and has since given birth to a litter of kittens. - Source - Telegraph.co.uk 31st October 2011
Fusion centred down Mexico way - The Mayor of Mexico City Marcelo Ebrard has unveiled the "c4i4", a state of the art command and control centre, which will be used by 47 local government and law enforcement agencies, to provide a highly co-ordinated response to a wide range of issues, from earthquake and volcanic activity through to tackling drug war related violence on the streets. The centre accepts feeds from around 13,000 surveillance cameras located throughout the city, which can be accessed by operators on any of their 600 video screens. - Source - Los Angeles Times 26th October 2011
White van man gets a ban - The contractor operating a Westminster City Council CCTV vehicle has been reprimanded, and the driver removed from duties, after it was photographed by a member of the public having been parked illegally across a cycle lane. The van is equipped with ANPR cameras, and is tasked with identifying untaxed vehicles and those with outstanding fines parked anywhere within the central London borough. - Source - BBC London News 21st October 2011
When the face doesn't fit - Two elderly gentleman have been in contact with the Police, after a local newspaper published a CCTV image of a suspect wanted on suspicion of retail fraud, who looked their exact double. The image was captured on a security camera in a B & Q store in North Allerton, and given the uncanny similarity with their doppleganger, both pensioners are left shocked and distressed by the possibility that other people may think it's them - Source - Mail Online 20th October 2011
They got the CCTV blue's - The Auditor General's report 'Use of CCTV Equipment and Information', has provided a scathing analysis of the Western Australia police 'Blue Iris' CCTV database project. Describing it as "unusable", the project was intended to register CCTV cameras to provide a rapid method for identifying and locating possible sources of CCTV evidence. His report cited lack of useful data, poor access, and insufficient training as key issues, but according to police, improvements have been made since the evaluation was completed. - Source - The West Australian 20th October 2011
Normal service will be resumed .... - Concerns have been raised over the integrity of the internal security camera system being used in the Parliament House, Canberra. Parliamentary Services officials confirmed that with part of the surveillance infrastructure being operated on the normal services network, as opposed to the dedicated security systems network, camera's would sometimes be offline for a matter of minutes, and could be vulnerable to attack by hackers. - Source - The Canberra Times 17th October 2011
Not exactly a legal wrangle - It sounds like a story from the wild, wild west, but the modern day equivalent of the local sheriff is keeping an eye out for a wayward cowboy wrangler, who stole three security cameras from straight of a government Health Department building in Corpus Christi, Texas. Using a somewhat creative method for dislodging his spoils, the cameras were literally pulled off the wall after the man lassoed each one in turn. If he'd have known the quality of the video recording his every move, chances are he probably wouldn't have bothered. - Source - Huffington Post 12th October 2011
Latest idea floated on the cams. - As the austerity cutbacks train rolls on, Cambridge in the UK is the latest local authority to vote through a reduction in CCTV monitoring, in an attempt to shave around £ 150k ( $ 225k, € 165k ) from the annual operating budget. - Source - Cambridge-news.co.uk 13th October 2011
End of the road for the interceptors - Cleveland Police have announced that their ANPR intercept team, which only last year was hailed by the Association of Chief Police Officers as one of the best in the UK, will be disbanded as part of the force's ongoing service cuts. In the last ten months, the team have been credited with seizing around £ 500k ( $ 750k, €550k ) of drugs and cash, seizing 300 vehicles and making 200 arrests. - Source - Hartlepool Mail 11th October 2011
They won't solve what they can't see - Reductions in CCTV monitoring by Stratford District Council in Warwickshire, are causing problems for the local police. The sergeant in charge of the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team has confirmed that since 24 hour monitoring was stopped about six months ago, investigations into a number of cases have had to be dropped due to the lack of any evidential recordings. - Source - Leamington Spa Courier 10th October 2011
Parliamentary committee dwells on CCTV - The UK Parliament's Human Rights Joint Committee has been reporting on the Protection of Freedoms Bill, currently proceeding through the House of Commons. Whilst tentatively welcoming the development of a CCTV Code of Practice, the committee have suggested that the code should also include information on the use of CCTV in specific locations, such as schools, care homes and healthcare premises. They also recommend that the Information Commissioner be involved in the finalisation of the code. - Source - The Guardian 7th October 2011
Cutting edge surveillance in the fast lane - An experimental video analytics programme being developed by the US Department for Homeland Security, has unwittingly been tested on the general public, without the correct written authorisation. The Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) project relies on a combination of high resolution video surveillance cameras, used in conjunction with an array of external sensors to determine whether specific physical changes demonstrated by a subject, can be used to indicate possible criminal intent. - Source - The Register 7th October 2011
Covert kiwi cop cameras consented - The New Zealand Parliament has swiftly passed the 'Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill', which is intended to allow police to resume the deployment of covert video surveillance to help with investigating serious crimes. The Bill was rushed through after a recent Supreme Court decision ruled that all covert video surveillance by police was deemed illegal, and is intended to provide a six month operational period, during which more comprehensive and enduring legislation can hopefully be drafted. - Source - nzherald.co.nz 6th October 2011
Who says CCTV doesn't work ...? - A 19 year old mother and her six month old baby were surrounded and threatened by three armed youths in Wood Street, Walthamstow, without a witness in sight. The local authority CCTV cameras in the area are unlikely to be of much help, seeing as how they'd recently been decommissioned to save on operating costs. A year previously, the council approved an emergency release of funds for updating CCTV, to the tune of £ 312,000 ( $470k, € 345k ) although it's unclear whether the money was actually ever made available. - Source - Waltham Forest Guardian 4th October 2011
Court out on a technicality - A judge sitting at Northampton Crown Court had no option but to throw out the case in front of him, due to lack of evidence resulting from failures in basic police procedures. A 25 year old male was standing accused of assault, after having been identified on CCTV as the person thought responsible for head butting another man in a kebab shop in Kettering. Unfortunately police failed to make a copy of the CCTV recording before it was automatically wiped off the system, seven days later. - Source - Northants Evening Telegraph 6th October 2011