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CCTV 'News in Brief' - March 2006


Manners maketh the man - Ahead of the 2008 Olympic games, authorities in Beijing are desperately trying to curb one of china's more traditional practices ... spitting. The Capitals Ethics Development Office have decided to use CCTV cameras to catch anyone practising, what they describe as the city's number one bad habit. Anyone caught on camera can expect a hefty 'on the spot' £ 3.50 fine (about $6.00 or € 5.00) - source The Local Government Association- 2nd March 2006

Hidden Problems - Airport travellers expect top notch security these days, but following a tip off by US Customs, officials at Guam airport discovered a number of covert cameras and listening devices, hidden in various parts of the complex. Although the airport routinely uses CCTV for site management and security roles, the numerous hidden units appeared to have been installed and operated without any statutory approval - source Pacific Daily News - 3rd March 2006

Privacy on hold - For residents of Tokyo's Seijo residential area, the fear of crime has led to an outbreak of community based surveillance. With local police encouraging the adoption of privately owned and operated CCTV cameras, residents have so far installed over 100 cameras at 55 different locations in the area. In response to the police call to arms, even the local priest has fitted four cameras to the gates of the neighbourhood temple. - source The Japan Times - 4th March 2006

Covering your assetts - The installation of security cameras in pubs and bars is becoming increasingly common, but for Werry's Pub in Marshalls Creek, Pennsylvania, the fitting of video surveillance provided an unforeseen benefit. Following a fatal road accident involving one of the pub's customers, a victims family decided to sue, on the basis that they had broken the law by continuing to serve alcohol to a visibly drunk patron. The submission of a 60 minute tape which indicated that the customer was not inebriated, along with eye witness testimony, provided the evidence for a jury to clear the management of any wrongdoing - source The Pocono Record - 5th March 2006

Half baked Alaska - The small fishing town of Dillingham in Southwest Alaska, is certainly taking its Homeland Security responsibilities very seriously. With a population of just 2,400 residents, the local police department have successfully secured a $ 202,000 grant which has provided 80 CCTV cameras for the community. Hardly surprisingly, this almost overnight adoption of saturation surveillance hasn't gone down too well with some of the residents. The grant was just part of the $ 2.5 billion spent last year by the Department of Homeland Security. - source Anchorage Daily News - 6th March 2006

Cameras without the flash - News from Nashville USA, where local authorities are so concerned about salacious and illegal activities in the towns Metro Parks, they want to install CCTV as a matter of priority. No longer are they prepared to tolerate obscene acts in a public place, although if the installation goes ahead, the somewhat colourfully named Percy Priest Dam recreational area, may never be quite the same again. - source - 6th March 2006

The truth will out - MP's in the Maldives parliament known as the Majilis, have discovered that their closed sessions are being secretly filmed by video surveillance cameras, thought to be operated by the security services. This is despite assurances from the Speaker that the cameras will remain switched off. - source Minivan News - 7th March 2006

A bitter pill to swallow - A leading racehorse trainer has been suspended after allegedly administering a prohibited painkilling injection to a horse, prior to the race. After an inquiry by the Jockey Club, the UK's governing body for horse racing, it emerged that the entrance to the horse box was being monitored by CCTV - source The Independent Online - 8th March 2006

Leave it out Darling - The UK's minister responsible for transport, Mr Alastair Darling, has reportedly said that ANPR camera systems will not be used to prosecute minor traffic offences. He is quoted as saying "It's one thing to have cameras to detect speeding motorists and those running red lights, but quite another having them looking inside cars and invading people's private space. We are not going to do it". - source Whatcar - 8th March 2006

Another Town, another system - Residents of Bucharest will shortly be benefitting from a new CCTV system, reportedly costing around € 21.7 million. The cameras will be located at around 100 intersections throughout the city, with images being monitored by the police. - source Bucharest Daily News - 9th March 2006

Have a nice day - Following a neighbour dispute, a resident of Penns Creek, Pennsylvania was advised by the police to buy some cheap CCTV cameras to record evidence. Following a complaint by the neighbour, a State Trooper arrived to interview the housewife, and returned later with a warrent to seize the microphone equipped cameras, recording equipment and tapes. It's currently illegal in 11 states to use any recording equipment that can pick up a persons voice without their consent. - source The Daily Item - 12th March 2006

No peeking! - Students at the Banja Luka University in Bosnia, have good reason to complain about the recent installation of CCTV cameras. When a survey revealed that 90% of undergraduate students were cheating, with as many as 30% having friends take exams for them, the authorities had no alternative but to take steps to address the situation. Student groups have since been complaining about the invasion of privacy - source - 15th March 2006

Training your sights on ... - News from India, where the police have recently taken control of a new CCTV camera, installed at the Kanpur Central Station. Intended to provide a visual overview of "suspected activities", the location of the unit has deliberately been kept secret, so as to prevent displacement of illegal activities outside the range of the camera - source Express India - 18th March 2006

Looking well on it - The University of Texas Medical Branch have high hopes of extending their existing 'Telemedicine' service, which allows patients a consultation with a specialist doctor using a secure video link. Its hoped that long term, patients will be able to consult with a top specialist, rather than having to be transferred to the nearest suitably equipped medical centre, hundreds of miles away - source The Facts - 19th March 2006

The picture from China - A new report from Global Sources has forecast an expected manufacturing output from mainland China, of US $ 300 million worth of CCTV cameras this year. The total output in 2005 was around US $ 170 million, with strong growth forecast in the North American and Asian markets - source Electronicstalk - 21st March 2006

New cameras in New York - The NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, has reported to the City Council that a further $ 9.1 million in federal funding, is currently being used to deploy an additional 505 surveillance cameras, at over 250 locations throughout the Big Apple. - source - 22nd March 2006

The CCTV protocol ... - Following an agreement between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), and representatives of the UK's media, a new protocol has been agreed to allow the publication of CCTV recordings, used as prosecution evidence in court cases. Following the agreement reached last month, the Newbury Weekly News has become the first media organisation to web stream a CCTV recording of a violent incident, following the successful outcome of a prosecution held at Reading Crown Court. - source The Press Gazette - 23rd March 2006

The heat is on ... - Metropolitan Police officers trying to tackle the problem of illegal cannabis production, have come up with a novel solution to an age old problem; how do you identify the premises where the plants are being grown? In what might best be described as an inspired piece of lateral thinking, officers in the London Borough of Haringey, have been pounding the mean streets armed with a thermal imaging camera. Now any house being used to grow the plants will show up red hot on camera, given the enormous amount of heat and energy that is required to produce a crop - source The Metropolitan Police - 23rd March 2006

A room with a view - According to the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, for almost eight years security guards working at Berlin's Pergamon Museum, have been keeping a watch on more than just the exhibits. Germany's federal police (the BKA) have admitted that they are investigating how a CCTV camera on the roof of the building, was used to spy on the Chancellor Angela Merkel, as she moved around the living room of her private flat located next door to the museum. Officials have now confirmed that the offending camera has been re-adjusted, and can no longer look into her property. - source Mail & Guardian Online - 27th March 2006

Putting the brakes on vehicle crime - News from the University of Kansas, where the Public Safety Office have announced their first results following the installation of CCTV on the campus parking lots. Since the cameras were switched on at 10 locations in August 2005, reported crimes have dropped by an impressive 23 percent. - source Kansas City infoZine - 31st March 2006



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