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' - September 2006


Can we have our money back .... please? - It was third time unlucky for members of the Hitchin Bowls Club, when their beloved bowling green was vandalised yet again. Horrified members arrived to find the green and a memorial bench seriously damaged despite the presence of a CCTV camera. Whilst police have confirmed that the suspects cannot be recognised from the recording, bowlers are now asking for their £ 1000 (US$ 1800, € 1400 ) contribution towards the cost of the camera, to be refunded. - source Hertfordshire on Sunday News - 3rd Sep. 2006

If your face fits - Police officers in Mainz, Germany are asking for volunteers to help them develop a new anti terrorism surveillance system. Following last months failed attack, a decision has been made to set up seven facial recognition cameras in the towns railway station. 200 volunteers are being sought to have their images captured during the evaluation period. - source Expatica - 4th Sep. 2006

There's a time and a place - For one hapless bus driver, passing the time on a portable PlayStation, and phoning his girlfriend were as natural as driving his bus. Unfortunately for him, doing all these things at the same time, whilst the on board CCTV system recorded his every move, hasn't really done anything for his future job prospects. Having received a a six month driving ban and a £ 200 fine with costs (US$ 350 € 280), at least he now has more time to enjoy his favourite interests. - source Lancashire Telegraph - 5th Sep. 2006

When writing is wrong ... Graffiti may be an annoying modern day phenomenon, but for Khoo Eng Siong, scribbling insults about Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, wasn't a particularly smart thing to do. Having failed to notice a CCTV camera recording his every move, he was subsequently found guilty on two charges of causing mischief, and sentenced to three months in prison - source The Bangkok Post - 6th Sep. 2006

Plane sensible technology - On the fifth anniversary of the tragic events that befell New York City, leading plane maker Airbus Industries are working flat out to ensure that such a calamity will never happen again. In what is reportedly the first ever "hijack proof" aircraft, a comprehensive cockpit and cabin CCTV system, including full audio feeds, have been fitted alongside collision prevention technologies, and biometric sensors, in the worlds first flying test bed. Practical systems are expected to be available and proven from around mid 2008 - source The Aero News Network - 12th Sep. 2006

The long arm of the law - When John Ellison went on holiday to Malaga in Spain he decided to take with his laptop computer. Just as well he did, as having received an alert to his mobile phone, he was able to monitor the burglars moving around his house back home in Lancashire. Having contacted the police, he then watched as two men were led away in handcuffs, with their sentencing now set for a date in three weeks time ..... - source Guardian Unlimited - 15th Sep. 2006

Excuse me ...? - Former senior police officer Ray Mallon has been busy doing the newsrounds in his current role as Mayor of Middlesbrough. The reason for his numerous press calls, has been the introduction of loud speakers onto seven Town Centre CCTV camera columns, providing control room operators with a new method for verbally challenging litter louts and evil wrongdoers. ..... - source BBC News - 17th Sep. 2006

Vid'ing in da hood - For Tucson Councilman Steve Leal, the idea of citizens using CCTV to capture drug dealers, may yet prove to be a good idea too far. Having spent $ 549 of city money on purchasing a single video recording CCTV camera, his suggestion that citizens borrow the camera to covertly record suppliers going about their business, has been roundly condemned from all quarters. - source Arizona Daily Star - 17th Sep. 2006

Watching crime disappear - According to the Bulgarian Minister of Interior, Rumen Petkov, since the introduction of security cameras into the capital city of Sofia, "The crime rate has dropped down to zero at the places with Closed-circuit television (CCTV)". - source FOCUS - 18th Sep. 2006

Accused in the Docks - As a result of long standing accusations of corrupt practices at the Suva wharf in Fiji, officials from the Ports Corporation decided to install hidden CCTV cameras to find out what was going on. In one day alone, 30 workers including Supervisors were caught engaging in activities described as "fraud and abuse of funds".It is believed that the losses will run into millions of dollars. - source Radio New Zealand International - 20th Sep. 2006

When I'm calling you ... - Story of the week, if not the year, has been the widescale reporting of Middlesbrough's adoption of 'speaking' CCTV cameras in their town centre. Intended to be applied against general Anti Social Behaviour, the camera operators have been given the facility to challenge individuals using a loudspeaker fitted next to the camera. With the story having been reported right around the world, it was the architect of the scheme, Mayor of Middlesbrough and former senior police officer Ray Mallen, who confidently predicted on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show, that the same technology would be enthusiastically adopted by local authorities right around the country .... and the United States. - source BBC Radio 2 - 20th Sep 2006

Security, so it is ... - The Northern Ireland Office has announced a further £ 2 million funding for 87 additional CCTV cameras, to be provided within fourteen town and city centre schemes operating across the province. - source Citybeat Radio - 22nd Sep. 2006

On closer examination - For one Somali bus driver, the thought of his fellow countrymen being unable to read the english theory driving test, was more than he could bare. So feeling "honour bound" to help them, he is believed to have sat up to 200 tests across the country. The scam was only discovered when officials from the Driving Standards Agency, noticed irregularities, and after searching through many hours of CCTV recordings, the suspect was finally identified. Whilst charging his clients anything up to £ 500 each (US$ 875 or € 700 ) for his services, he has since been charged with obtaining property by deceptions, and been awarded a 12 month prison sentence for his troubles. - source MegaStar - 26th Sep. 2006

Rubbish results - The introduction of CCTV and ANPR systems into Somerset's larger waste recycling centres, has produced encouraging results for the operators. At one site in Yeovil, deposited waste fell by 10% whilst recycling actually increased by 8% . It's been suggested that the improvements have come about as visitors have been encouraged to seperate their recyclable materials, whilst also being strongly deterred from any illegal dumping of waste. - source - 26th Sep. 2006



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