So would you like to play "Spot the CCTV Camera?". Eagle eyed visitors may recognise the profusion of street furniture, surrounding a single heritage dome camera keeping watch over part  of Londons' prestigious Oxford Street shopping area.

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CCTV 'News in Brief' - August 2005


Cameras in crisis
Peter Fry, head of the UK based 'CCTV Users Group' has warned of an impending crisis for the capitols public surveillance system operators. Following an announcement by the Home Office that there were no plans to fund urgently needed upgrades to existing CCTV systems, Mr. Fry has said that London is facing a "security nightmare" , as established schemes come towards the end of their working life. "We are fast approaching a crisis situation" he said, "A lot of local authorities are struggling to find the capital to replace ageing systems..." - source Timesonline 08/08/05

Driving out crime
Following a spate of muggings in Hampstead, north west London, the local authority Camden Council decided to install three new town centre CCTV cameras to tackle the problem. Now just months later, one of these cameras is set to raise almost a million pounds ( US$ 1.7m, €1.4m ) this year ... in motoring fines. Since the camera has been diverted away from protecting life and limb, hundreds of motorists have been issued with fines for making, illegal turns, unlawful parking, and driving the wrong way up a one way street. - source Daily Express 13/08/05

CCTV Cameras for the asking
Here in the U.K., in the Northamptonshire town of Kettering, Police and Council officials have reportedly paid around £3000 to purchase 100 basic CCTV cameras. In an attempt to stem a rise in drug related crime, local residents are being offered the cameras free of charge, provided they install it themselves, and check their recordings regularly. So far a total of 80 families have taken up the offer. - source BBC News 15/08/05

A sheltered place for hiding cameras
In a pilot scheme based in Middlesbrough on Teesside, the local council is spending £ 40,000 on installing discreet miniature CCTV cameras, in sixteen of the towns most vandalised bus shelters. It is hoped that by using up to eight cameras per shelter, bus passengers will be reassured over any safety concerns. Initially, the CCTV cameras will be used on locations within residential housing estates - source BBC News 17/08/05

You lookin' at me?
Four CCTV Control Room officers have appeared in court charged with using security cameras to observe a woman in her own home. The security staff who all work for Sefton Council in Liverpool, are charged with various offences, including voyeurism, attempted voyeurism and misconduct in public office. The four were arrested in November 2004 following allegations that they had inappropriately used street surveillance cameras. The case was adjourned for later in the year, with all defendents given unconditional bail - source BBC News 23/08/05

Mr Stupid lives up to his name
A 20 year old man dubbed by his friends as Mr Stupid, was recently convicted of stealing a £ 650 laptop computer, from a shop selling Closed Circuit Television cameras. With a total of eight previous convictions already under his belt, the hapless thief made off with the computer whilst being clearly recorded on a significant number of CCTV cameras. Whilst the shop owner has reported a recent surge in business enquiries, the offender has received a 12 month community order, six month drug rehabilitation order and been ordered to pay £ 650 compensation with £ 70 court costs. - source BBC News 26/08/05

CCTV reduces serious injuries
A recent study by researchers at Cardiff University's 'Violence Research Group' , shows a significant fall in serious violence throughout England and Wales, with CCTV being credited for effectively reducing the number of serious injuries. The findings tend to suggest that where CCTV has been used to monitor and co-ordinate a response to violent disorder, the rapid intervention by police is reducing the number of victims requiring attention by hospital accident and emergency units - source Cardiff University 26/08/05

Getting a pilot off the ground.
In the wake of escalating violence and community demands for action, San Francisco's Western Addition is launching a 90 day pilot scheme, to test out the effectiveness of CCTV "safety cameras". Somewhat unusually, in deferrence to concerns about civil liberties, the cameras are not monitored, but rather recorded directly to computer, and then automatically deleted after 72 hours. Whilst the cameras are set to autopan over a 270 degree field of view, there is no facility for remotely controlling the cameras. The project has been funded through "drug seizure funds" - source San Francisco Chronicle 28/08/05

UK Leads the way
A new report by leading research firm RNCOS, has now placed the United Kingdom as king of the castle when it comes to the application of CCTV systems. With an estimate of over four and a quarter million cameras currently in use, this suggests that almost one in five of all cameras sold globally, are eventually being used here in the U.K. Forecasting strong growth in the IP surveillance sector, the report suggests that some analysts predict IP cameras to eventually be outselling conventional CCTV cameras during 2007. - source RNCOS 28/08/05

Lessons to be learned
Within the next four and a half years, every school in Russia will be equipped with Closed Circuit Television.With an estimated cost of 14 billion rubles, all of Russia's one million students will benefit from school video security systems by the end of the decade. - source TASS News Agency 30/08/05

The war goes on
With heightened security concerns in the Philippines, Manila's police chief has ordered the urgent installation of further CCTV cameras in malls and other public places. In the wake of a recent ferry bombing which injured thirty people, reports now suggest that an active group with links to al Qaida, is planning further imminent attacks - source Brisbane's News 1 29/08/05

Looking out for your own.
Police in the West Bank town of Hebron were outraged, when settlers in Tel Rumeida deliberately vandalised security cameras, installed by the Israel Defence Forces. Two teenagers are suspected to have been involved in the incident - source 31/08/05

Safer Homes on the horizon
The week commencing 27th August 2005 has been designated as "National Home Security Week", with U.K. domestic CCTV manufacturer Micromark, providing high profile sponsorship for this fourth annual event.

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