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CCTV 'News in Brief' - 19th > 30th September 2005


Crime on camera ... - In the past year, a U.K. based 48 camera CCTV system has been credited with recording 191 incidents, leading to 62 arrests. Fenland District Council are delighted that the installation of 12 cameras in each of four key towns, Chatteris, March, Wisbech and Whittlesey has proven such a success, so quickly. The majority of incidents relate to public nuisance or public disorder offences, with missing persons, traffic offences and violent behaviour incidents all contributing to the statistics - source Cambridge Evening News - 19th September 2005.

An information superhighway ... - Also in the U.K., the Highways Agency have announced a 10 year project to provide a new fibre optic based telecomms system, throughout the country's motorway network. The £ 490m Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project, will eventually allow all traffic monitoring CCTV cameras to be linked back to regional control centres, using IP network technology - source - 19th September 2005.

On the right track ... - As a major step in improving "on-train" security, operator ScotRail supported by the Scottish executive, have announced the introduction of digital CCTV systems on 500 trains. The 2000 cameras will be installed on rolling stock serving the London to Edinburgh route, and with work commencing later this year, completion is expected sometime during 2007 - source - 20th September 2005.

The camera committee ... - News from Abu Dhabi, that a special panel has been formed to oversee the introduction of a "state of the art" security camera system to monitor key areas of the city -- source Khaleej Times - 20th September 2005.

Murderers on a mission ... - As the investigation continues into the London bombings on July 7th, the Metropolitan Police Service have identified key CCTV footage, which shows three of the bombers on a reconnaissance mission, some ten days before the attacks took place . The new images released to the media, show the bombers arriving at Luton train station on 28th June, and further images place them at Kings Cross and Baker Street underground stations in London, at various times during the day - source The Independent - 21st September 2005.

The great escape ... - It's been reported that a convicted murderer and a serial burglar managed to escape from Arohata womens prison in Wellington, New Zealand, because guards did not know how to use the CCTV system. As part of an internal investigation, a report has confirmed that the escapees movements were captured on camera, but the staff working that night did not know how to move the cameras, or bring up specific images on the control room monitors - source - 21st September 2005.

A multi agency approach ... - The existing twenty camera CCTV system serving the residents of Mole Valley in the U.K., is scheduled to be scrapped in the near future. In a unique arrangement involving Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Mole Valley District Council are planning to install a new digital system with a shared control room offering extended coverage around the clock - source icSurreyOnline - 22nd September 2005.

Lights, cameras and ... - Extending the role of CCTV in fighting crime, news from the U.S. that film makers are now using surveillance cameras as the star performers in a new big screen release. "21 Eyes" tells the story of a diamond heist using CCTV as an unusual technique for shooting key parts of the script. The movie was filmed at locations in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, Washington, and has been previewed at the Annapolis Film Festival - source The Capital - 23rd September 2005.

As drunk as a lord ... - Having presented an unwitting appearance on CCTV, disgraced Labour peer Lord Watson of Invergowrie has been sentenced to 16 months in prison, following a drunken arson attack. The former Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport in the Scottish Executive, was caught on camera trying to set fire to a curtain in the Prestonfield Hotel, after a prolongued drinking session at last years Scottish Politician of the Year awards. Despite the video recording, Lord Watsons lawyer Mr. Paul Burns advised the court that "This was an offence that was done without premeditation, motive, reason or indeed, without recollection" - source Timesonline - 23rd September 2005.

Growing concerns ... - Concerns have been raised by police, following Breckland Councils decision to implement a tree planting scheme which may obscure existing Town Centre CCTV cameras. A spokeswoman for the council has said " Now that we have highlighted the concerns, we are going to be working to make sure community safety issues are not jeopardised" - source edp24 - 24th September 2005.

Worries in the Windies ... - With increasing numbers of bomb threats in Trinidad and Tobago, local government are urging businesses to further increase the number of CCTV cameras already installed - source - 24th September 2005.

Putting in an appearance ... - News from Taiwan that in an effort to prevent two convicted sex offenders from re-offending, the Ministry of Justice has installed CCTV in their homes. The paroled individuals are essentially under house arrest between the hours of 8pm and 7 am, and have to remain within view of the surveillance cameras located in the living room and bedroom. Whilst bathroom visits are limited to a maximum of ten minutes, they are free to leave their homes during the day - source Taipei Times - 24th September 2005.

When the chips are down ... - Four CCTV camera system operators working for a casino in Atlantic City, have been charged with violating the regulations of the Casino Control Commission, after they used the companies sophisticated surveillance system to zoom in on "specific body parts", of female guests and employees. Whilst the operators have lost their jobs, the casino has been forced to pay a $185,000 fine - source Action News - 27th September 2005

In a bid to counter terrorism ... - News from Canberra, Australia where state authorities have pledged to spend Aus. $ 700,000 " assist Commonwealth participation in the National Counter-Terrorism Committee review of closed circuit television capability and development of a national code of practice. source - voltairenet - 27th September 2005

If you don't have a permit ... - Within hours of a new subway CCTV system being put to the test, the New York Police Commissioner decided to 'pull the plug' on the installation. A police spokesperson confirmed that the Inspector who authorised the evaluation of the new system, did so without permission from above - source - 29th September 2005

A cunning use of technology ... - For those who've long believed that most modern art is simply barking mad, Belgian born artist Francis Als, who normally lives in Mexico, decided to let loose a fox in the hallowed rooms of the National Portrait Gallery in London. In what is described as " investigation into the omnipresence of surveillance cameras in London..." the animal was allowed to wander for several hours, under the watchful gaze of the gallery's security cameras. The recorded material has since been edited into a 20 minute film entitled "The Nightwatch", which is currently on display in the gallery. The well mannered fox named Bandit, has thus far refused to comment - source The Independent - 28th September 2005

Streaming Video ... - Reports from Korea that in an attempt to limit residents of Seoul City gaining access to the Cheonggyechon stream, particularly during periods of high flood risk, CCTV cameras have been installed every 50 metres along its 5.8 kilometre length, as part of the site management and safety system - source The Korea Times - 29th September 2005

Refuse to lie down ... - In what has proven to be the luckiest escape of the week, an inebriated Perth resident managed to attract the attention of a refuse truck operator, after waking up in the back of the vehicle with the rubbish compactor crushing him. Unable to recall how he had got in to this predicament, whilst reviewing CCTV footage, local police were astonished to see three men tip the drunken victim into an industrial refuse bin, which was then emptied into the truck. The 40 year old victim manged to escape with a broken arm and ribs, but little is known about the extent of his hangover - source Mail and Guardian online (S.A.) - 30th September 2005

Watching by detectives ... - Ahead of Finlands accession to the Presidency of the European Union next year, the City of Helsinki has decided to install a further 25 street surveillance cameras. At a cost of around € 250,000, the new cameras and lighting will be installed by the city authorities, but operated by the Helsinki Police Department from a newly constructed command and communication centre - source Helsingin Sanomat - 30th September 2005

Judgement day - Following the callous murder of a supermarket security guard, a Brazilian judge has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the murder. After refusing to admit the judge having closed the store for the night, the unprovoked shooting was captured on Closed Circuit Television - source BBC News - 30th September 2005

Cameras, cameras everywhere - In the London Borough of Wandsworth, the addition of a further 50 street surveillance cameras has now gained the 700+ council run camera system, the local reputation as the "...Big Brother borough...". Around 450 of the cameras have been strategically located on local housing estates, and the police estimate that the investment in technology is resulting in an average of two arrests per day. - source Wandsworth Guardian - 30th September 2005

CCTV in a shocking state - Eight years after installing a street surveillance system, Forest Heath District Council are desperate to replace their worn out installation. It's been reported that the equipment is in such a poor state, the "...CCTV recordings are no longer good enough for use as evidence in court.". A local councillor is quoted as saying the situation posed "a severe risk to public safety". - source Cambridge News - 30th September 2005

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