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 2007


Relief not in sight - Whilst researching material for his new book about Britains surveillance society, journalist Ross Clark came up with a novel way of testing the effectiveness of the Town Centre CCTV system in Northampton. Having been refused access to the 400 camera control room, he decided to relieve himself into a rubbish bin directly in front of one of the towns cameras. On commenting after the fact that the crime was not picked up on camera, the local police superintendent made clear that there is a high level of dependence on the general public reporting crime, as and when it's spotted.. - source - Northampton Chronicle- 2nd November 2007

See saw ... watching no more - Following hard on the heels of the mayors unilateral decision to spend almost $ 600k on installing 20 surveillance cameras in Milwaukee, USA, a subsequent vote by alderman actually cut the budget for employing control room staff, apparently leaving the new cameras with nobody to watch them. - source - - 2nd November 2007

Just wizard in Oz - The Australian Prime Minister John Howard has pledged to install 50 CCTV cameras in his constituency of Bennelong. The cameras which are to be installed in the suburb of Ryde at an estimated cost of $ 675,000 ( £ 300k, US$ 625k, € 430k ), are intended to tackle concerns about crime in an area which according to the local police, is currently experiencing one of the lowest crime rates in the State - source - Sydney Morning Herald - 6th November 2007

An ambassador for security ...? - It's been revealed that half the foreign embassies located in Stockholm, Sweden, may be breaking the law by having surveillance cameras fitted without permits. Apparently only 14% of the embassies are actually approved to use video surveillance on their premises. - source - The Local- 5th November 2007

Sitting on the dock of the bay - News from Montego Bay in Jamaica, where the Ministry of Tourism has just handed over a $ 14 million ( £ 95k, US$ 190k, € 135k ) mobile surveillance vehicle, to the National Security Ministry. In a unique arrangement, the vehicle will be maintained by a local tourism company, and operated by police staff trained at a Florida based surveillance training facility. - source - Jamaica Gleaner- 6th November 2007

No privacy in the privy - 138 outraged workers are suing their employer in Louisville, Kentucky for allegedly using covert CCTV in a staff restroom. The distribution centre personnel are seeking damages for injuries caused by hidden video surveillance monitoring of their most private activities in the washroom. - source - The Cincinnati Post - 15th November 2007

A helping hand me down - US Marshals in Springfield Illinois, have found a new home for some 30 decommissioned CCTV cameras previously used to protect federal courthouses. The cameras along with weatherproof housings and monitoring equipment, have been donated to local schools to help them upgrade their existing security arrangements. - source - JG-TC Online - 15th November 2007

Resigned to the inevitable - The head of the Greek Data Protection Authority has resigned in protest, after traffic surveillance cameras were used to track protestors taking part in a lawful demonstration. Following the protest rally where police "directly breached" regulations covering the use of public space CCTV systems, the deputy head and two other members of the authority also quit their jobs.. - source - International Herald Tribune - 19th November 2007

Watching the gee gee's - Authorities in south east Australia are urgently installing surveillance cameras at all crossing points between the states of New South Wales and Victoria, in a desperate attempt to prevent the spread of equine influenza. - source - ABC News - 19th November 2007

Surveillance at a pinch - Police in Waitakere in New Zealand are hunting what is believed to be a serial surveillance snatcher. In recent months, as many as half a dozen CCTV cameras have mysteriously disappeared from various premises. There's speculation the cameras may be stolen for use as security around illegal drug factory's. - source - - 20th November 2007

A current crime that doesn't pay - With a raised price in scrap value, theft of metals has become an increasing problem right around the globe. In one primary school in Harare, South Africa, thieves were captured on CCTV minutes before stealing copper cables from the building. Whilst the police have so far been unable to copy the recordings, in another similar incident, a 54 year old man was seriously burnt trying to remove live cables, and subsequently died from his injuries last week. - source - - 20th November 2007

When less is apparently more - Following the removal of six existing CCTV cameras from the town centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, outraged traders have been reassured by councillors that the cost cutting exercise, "... does not represent a reduction in service" . - source - Oxford Mail - 21st November 2007

All up in the air - Embarassed officials from the Houston Police Department had to come clean, after a top secret demonstration of a video sureveillance equipped drone, was exposed by a local news helicopter that followed the pilotless aircraft for over an hour. A senior officer later admitted that the eye in the sky was being considered for a range of duties from Homeland Security, covert operations ... and even possibly writing traffic tickets. - source - - 21st November 2007

Watch what you eat - Scientists and researchers will spend the next 10 years using video surveillance to study the eating habits of staff at the University of Wageningen University, in the Netherlands. In the appropriately named Restaurant at the Future, two dozen cameras have been installed covertly, to allow detailed data to be gathered on the eating habits of a less than typical cross section of dutch society. - source - International Herald Tribune - 22nd November 2007

And the winner is ... - Two Police CCTV Operators have received special commendations when their efforts resulted in the arrest of two suspects, and the recovery of £ 50,000 worth of cannabis. The awards were made as a result of an incident outside a pub in Barry, South Wales earlier in the year, when the suspects were followed back to their vehicle using the town centre's CCTV system. - source - News Wales - 22nd November 2007

Getting to the bottom of it - Despite a total lack of witnesses or forensic evidence, a callous knifeman has been caught and sentenced thanks to the victims CCTV. As Aaron Williams bent over to attack his victim in a newsagents shop in Kentish Town, North London, his over exposed builders cleavage revealed a unique birth mark across his lower back and buttocks, which was subsequently matched by an expert dermatologist. Having been found guilty of attempted murder, the court handed down a sentence of 16 years imprisonment. - source - CamdenNewJournal - 22nd November 2007

Cameras cut crime reports - Residents in Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, have been requested to report all crimes to the police; since there is a perception locally that as CCTV is there to tackle crime, there's no point in bothering to report it. - source - Bucks Free Press - 27th November 2007



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