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' - 15th > 31st October 2005


If a jobs worth doing... - For one resident of Newark in Delaware, U.S.A., waiting for the local authoroties to install CCTV just isn't an option. A former City Council candidate has decided that what the town really needs is its own town centre CCTV system, so he's started installing eight fixed view cameras himself .... and he's paying for them as well. - source - 13th October 2005

Don't be bashful - Female shoppers in Borneo are being urged to report any CCTV cameras found hidden in boutique changing rooms. Following a police investigation, a decision will be made whether any actual offence has been committed, in areas normally deemed to be subject to an expectation of privacy - source Brunei Direct - 14th October 2005

lf it's broke, fix it - News from the U.S. where embarrased officials at the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport have been forced to admit that their security camera system wasn't recording. Following an incident at the airport, an attorney subpoenaed the airport to obtain the videotapes, only to discover that there was no operational recording system in place. As part of an investigation by WAVY News 10, reporters discovered that there are actually no federal regulations which which require video monitoring in public areas of any airport. - source WAVY 10 News - 14th October 2005

Evidence ....what evidence? - News from Kuantan in Malaysia, where five prison warders and an officer, have been acquitted of murdering a prisoner, after a judge threw out a videotape showing the assault on the victim. In citing a break in the "chain of evidence", Justice Mohamed Apandi suggested this should be taken as a warning to all authorities operating video security systems. - source - 15th October 2005

Take care of the pennies... - The long suffering motorists, businesses and tax payers of Glasgow may have to dig deeper into their pockets, if the city's existing CCTV network is to continue in operation. An independent report has highlighted a cash shortfall in the £ 1.5 million operating costs for the 300 camera 'Streetwatch Glasgow' system. The report has suggested that problems with funding could "cause serious operating difficulties", which may in turn lead the police and public to "lose confidence in the system..." - source Evening Times - 15th October 2005

On the buses - To help tackle the problems of vandalism on the capitols bus fleet, London's Metropolitan Police Service has set up a dedicated BusTag squad of specialist officers. In the last ten months, there have been over 300 arrests of individuals identified by on board surveillance cameras. The officer in charge has commented that most offendors believe they will never be caught, but experience has shown that by providing a highly publicised release of CCTV images, considerable success can be achieved in obtaining arrests. - source Richmond & Twickenham Times - 14th October 2005

Hail, a new era ... - For any passengers jumping into a taxi in Dublin, Ireland, even a short journey can become a completely new experience in safe motoring. City operator Xpert Digi Taxis are commissioning a new fleet of high tech vehicles, equipped with CCTV, panic buttons and a global positioning system. The € 3.8 million project is expected to be the first phase in an eventual rollout of new similarly equipped vehicles throughout the country. - source - 18th October 2005

Pan and Tilts in Paradise - In response to regular crimes at the Hawaiian tourist location of Pali Lookout, two CCTV cameras have been installed at a cost of US$ 67,000. The cameras using wireless technology, have initially been provided for a six month evaluation, and whilst the local head of security is positive about the project, a local restaurant manager, Mr Brian Kim is certainly less than enthusiastic. "It (the cameras) can't see the license plate numbers as the vehicles go by. And after we report the crime, they really can't see who, what or when that crime has been committed" he said. - source The Hawaii Channel - 18th October 2005

Eye on the prize - For Japanese bank managers these are indeed worrying times. Reports from the Tokyo, Saitama and Chiba prefectures suggest that a gang of organised criminals are now routinely fitting miniature spy cameras, onto ATM cash dispensing machines. Whilst a dozen cameras have already been spotted, at the request of the Japanese Bankers Association, urgent checks on machines are being carried out across the country - source Mainichi Daily News - 19th October 2005

A new view, on an old problem - Elderley residents of the Bedfordshire town of Sandy are outraged at the actions of their local council. As part of a £ 315,000 facelift for the town centre, a new bus shelter has been installed which provides more open visibility for CCTV cameras. This innovation in surveillance friendly design, has been achieved by removing the sides and front, leaving the seniors of Sandy, significantly sodden in even the slightest of showers. A spokesman for the council has confirmed "It would not have been possible to replicate the old bus shelter because of security - a flat roof design obscures the CCTV cameras ...." - source The Comet - 20th October 2005

Gone with the wind - Police are on the trail of a callous thief, who broke into a service station in Martha's Vineyard, MA and stole a large water jug containing an estimated US$ 2,000 of donations for hurricane relief charities. Despite the suspect making every attempt to avoid identification on the stores CCTV system, Edgartown police are hopeful that they may yet have a breakthorugh - source The Martha's Vineyard Times - 20th October 2005

Bit of a cop out - News from New York where in the race to beef up homeland security, a newspaper investigation has discovered that vital CCTV cameras are not working .... around the police headquarters. Following an apparent homophobic attack outside the heavily fortified building in lower Manhattan, it was revealed that the "antiquated" surveillance system had not only failed to spot the victim being assaulted, but that the few cameras that were actually working were not even being recorded. Officials are quoted as saying that there are no immediate plans to replace the equipment, which is "... an old system that hasn't been functioning in years". - source New York Daily News - 20th October 2005

Addressing the threat - Immediately following the terrorist outrages in London this summer, transit authorities around the world are rushing through plans to beef up their security. So hardly surprisingly, news from Canada, where the Montreal Transit Corporation have announced their intention to install CCTV on their entire fleet of 1,500 buses at a cost of around $ 30 million. - source The Gazette - 24th October 2005

And so it goes on - A decision has been made to upgrade the City of London's existing widespread CCTV network. As a further enhancement on the systems capability, control room operators will shortly be able to give evacuation and security information, from speakers mounted alongside the cameras. - source - 24th October 2005

Camera catch camera ....crook - News from Japan, where police hunting a gang of criminals responsible for setting up miniature spy cameras on ATM machines, have announced the capture on camera of several individuals fitting the covert equipment. It is reported that one man has been arrested in connection with these crimes - source The Daily Yomiuri - 25th October 2005

The van's the man - Police in North London have mounted a night time operation using the local borough's new £ 100,000 CCTV van. Twenty personnel were deployed in Muswell Hill and Crouch End, as part of an eight hour crackdown against drunken and anti social behaviour. The high tech surveillance vehicle was deployed in 45 minute shifts in each area during the operation, and two arrests were made by the end of the night - source Ham & High Broadway - 24th October 2005

The bottom line ... - In an attempt to cut £ 100,000 from the annual operating costs of Shrewsbury towns CCTV system, an "overhaul" will take place to further streamline it's operation. Whilst councillors are concerned that the service will suffer, the man responsible has provided reassurances that it won't, adding that they will review the location of the cameras, and "... whether a 24 hour, 365 day a year system is required." - source Shropshire Star - 26th October 2005

The French have a way ... - Mindful of the the recent terrosist attacks in London, the French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed a new anti- terrorism bill to enhance state security. Included in the legislation would be a provision for the authoroties greater use of video surveillance, particularly in stations, airports and subways, and also a much broader use of private CCTV systems within higher risk locations, such as shops and synagogues - source - 26th October 2005

Room for more control - Residents of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, will shortly benefit from the construction of a new CCTV control room, costing £ 1.5 million. The existing 180 camera system will be connected up to the new control room, which should be operational by March 2006 - source - 27th October 2005

Keeping crime away from the courts - The aptly named Court Street in Hamilton, Bermuda has been subject to almost 400 police responses in the first nine months of this year. Now no longer prepared to accept such a high level of lawlessness, the authorities have decided to install a $ 300,000 seven camera CCTV system, in an attempt to cut down on crime - source The Royal Gazette - 28th October 2005

A TV view on CCTV - For the fair residents of East Colfax, Colorado, the installation of new security cameras to tackle street crime, should have been just what the doctor ordered. On their first weekend of operation, a reporter from local news station CBS4 Denver, decided to take a look for himself and test out their effectiveness. Working undercover, it didn't take long for the intrepid reporter to be offered crack cocaine, just one block down from where a camera is sited. Further approaches were made on the opposite side of the road, but at least not in front of the CCTV cameras - source CBS4 Denver - 29th October 2005

Driving out crime - In an attempt to stem the tide of corruption at driver test centres in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, the local Transport Department has introduced seven new test vehicles, each equipped with three constantly recorded CCTV cameras. At the official launch ceremony, a number of driving school operators staged a protest outside the test centre in Durban - source The Independent on Sunday - 29th October 2005

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