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' - November 2006


A safe return through surveillance - Officers responding to the abduction of a 6 year old child in Baltimore (U.S.A.), have credited CCTV with quickly helping to locate the missing girl. The child was left momentarily outside her house, and when seconds later her father came out to take her to school, she had disappered. The distraught parent was rushed to the local police station, and images of the victim and her abductor were quickly identified on recordings from the areas video surveillance system. A 47 year old woman was arrested on a number of charges, and the child returned home unharmed. - source The Baltimore Sun - 4th Nov 2006

A rude awakening - Top story of the week here in the U.K., and widely reported around the globe, a report commissioned by the U.K.'s Information Commissioner has summised that "We are living in a surveillance society now". It is not that long since the commissioner Richard Thomas, warned the good citizens of Britain that we were "sleepwalking into a surveillance society" but the latest analysis goes just that little bit further, placing the U.K.'s citizens as possibly the most electronically monitored in the world. - source ABC Radio Australia and others - 5th Nov 2006

Spreading surveillance in scandinavia - Radio Sweden has recently reported that the number of surveillance cameras being used in public places, has doubled in four years. Whilst council authorities have granted permission for 900 new applications so far this year, a similar growth in privately owned and operated systems is reported, although no permissions are required for these. - source Sveriges Radio International - 7th Nov 2006

You're missing the point - The Mayor of Watton, a small town in Norfolk (U.K.) is so disillusioned with his towns five CCTV cameras, that there's talk of the system being scrapped. Apparently, the cameras have been so ineffective at capturing crimes in the local town, it's been reported that that a week passed before anyone noticed that a camera had been 'knocked off'. - source The Watton & Swaffham Times - 8th Nov 2006

It shouldn't colour your judgement ...? - In Redhill, Surrey (U.K.), a 25 year old father of two was convicted of driving offences, received a one year ban, and ordered to pay £ 430 ( US$ 820, € 610 ), despite pleading his innocence throughout the hearing. On appealing his conviction, it emerged that the police surveillance cameras had recorded a white male driver, whereas the convicted man was black. Police officers have been ordered to explain the circumstances to the judge, and have been allowed three weeks to explain the mix up. The case was dropped - source Surrey online - 9th Nov 2006

We shall not forget - On rememberance day each year, millions of red poppy's are sold by the Royal British Legion to raise money for charity. So the sight of a bespectacled middle aged man, hand outstretched, reaching towards a collecting box at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea would not be considered unusual. Unfortunately, on this occassion, the man grabbed the money box, in clear view of a nearby CCTV camera, and strolled away with the collection. A spokesman for Londons Metropolitan Police Service is quoted as saying " ... How low can you go?" - source This is London - 10th Nov 2006

Are you sitting comfortably? - Embarrased officials at City Hall in Penang, Malaysia, are struggling to explain the goings on at a Municipal Council meeting held "in camera". Instead of focussing the chambers CCTV system on the speaker, the camera was seen by numerous journalists to be concentrating on the thighs of a number of women journalists sitting in the Press Area. Whilst the roving camera was noted to be somewhat occupied for around 15 minutes, the councils President has offered a brief explanation, accusing the women of wearing a "sexy dress". - source The Star online - 11th &12th Nov 2006

No, they want to do it ... - As part of a recent release of government funding, Jamaica's famous Montego Bay will benefit from the installation of US$ 8.9 million worth of CCTV systems. The cameras are to be installed in 14 locations at the direction of the Ministry of National Security, although no time scheduled has been set out within the announcement. - source Jamaica Information Service - 12th Nov 2006

Scratching around for clues - Puzzled police officers are scouring a court's CCTV system, to find any clues towards establishing the identity of a potential jailbird. On returning to her vehicle, a female magistrate discovered that her car window had been smashed, using a frozen chicken. Although nothing has been reported stolen, officials are still anxious to identify the owner of the bird, which is now central to their investigations into a case of criminal damage. - source Lancashire Evening Post - 15th Nov 2006

If you go down to the shops today ... - Puzzled store management from the Tesco's supermarket in Barrow (U.K.), are desperately trying to find out how video recordings from the stores CCTV system, managed to end up being broadcast on the YouTube internet site. Two video clips showing shoplifters and erratic shoppers, have been been submitted to the site, by an anonymous contributor, in what has been described by a spokesperson as " ... a breach of security ...". - source The North West Evening Mail - 18th Nov 2006

Keeping an eye out - Thailands Information and Communication Technology Minister Sitthichai Pokai-udom, has called for the installation of CCTV in three of the countries southern provinces, to help track down those responsible for a series of recent bomb attacks - source The Bangkok Post - 20th Nov 2006

The cycle against violence - Officers from Tayside Police in Scotland, have rolled out their latest weapon in the fight against crime. Visitors to the town of Perth, may be the first in the country to be recorded on a bicycle equipped CCTV system, being trialled for the first time. If successful, the handlebar mounted.cameras will be installed on all 19 of the forces patrol bicycles - source The Scotsman - 23rd Nov 2006

If you listen carefully ... - In the run up to the 2012 Olympics being held in London, police and council officers are said to be seriously considering the adoption of a unique audio eavesdropping system, designed for use with street mounted CCTV cameras. The equipment is already in use on 300 cameras sited throughout Groningen, Utrecht and Rotterdam in The Netherlands, and it is claimed that the microphones are sensitive enough to pick up speech at up to 100 metres away - source The Sunday Times - 26th Nov 2006

Success on the buses - It's been reported that since Operation BusTag was launched in 2004, 90% of those caught on CCTV committing Anti Social Behaviour on Londons buses, have been convicted of their crimes. In total over 1200 people have been arrested for a variety of incidents, including graffiti, vandalism, and setting fires. - source BBC News - 29th Nov 2006

A weight off their minds - Officials from Essex County Council (U.K.) , are asking for all CCTV cameras to be removed from their lamp-posts in local shopping areas, citing concerns over Health and Safety legislation. It's been reported that the weight of the cameras is providing cause for concern, and whilst certain older cameras will cost £ 29,000 to replace (US$ 57k, € 42k), it will only cost £ 5,000 to remove them ( US$ 9,500, € 7,000) - source The Echo - 29th Nov 2006



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