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Keeping the CCTV working
News from the United Kingdom; on the unforseen cost of providing an 'effective' CCTV deterrent to crime.
Situated in the quiet leafy suburbs to the north of the city, the London Borough of Barnet has for some time now pursued an active plan to try and install CCTV systems, in all of its larger Town Centres.
Considering that there are 20+ major retail areas in the Borough, this was never really going to be a cheap and easy solution, in the fight against crime.
For one of the most recently installed systems in North Finchley Town Centre, the everyday cost of maintaining a high profile 'active' CCTV system, suddenly took on a whole new dimension.
On 13th May 2004, as the workman arrived to maintain a pole mounted minidome sited mid way up the high street, he unfortunately overlooked the golden rule for all right minded maintenance engineers.
With his van + cherry picker accurately positioned directly below the camera, he got out to extend the rear stabiliser legs. So far so good; that is until he realised that having left the keys in the ignition, and thoughtfully kept the engine running, it took only seconds for an opportunist thief to jump into the drivers seat, and head off into the distance at a great rate of knots.
The highly sophisticated Town Centre CCTV system which allegedly cost in the order of £ 200k (that's around US$ 350k or Euros 300k), was hardly surprisingly, unable to provide any CCTV footage of the incident. As a council spokesman was quoted in 'The Press' report, "At the time of the theft, the CCTV cameras in this part of North Finchley were being used to monitor the busy pedestrian areas..."
Detailed from an original article, published in
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