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London Police Credit CCTV Cameras With Six Solved Crimes Per Day 280

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-to-be-installed-in-your-home dept.
stoilis writes "CCTV cameras across London help solve almost six crimes a day, the Metropolitan Police has said. According to the article, 'the number of suspects who were identified using the cameras went up from 1,970 in 2009 to 2,512 this year. The rise in the number of criminals caught also raises public confidence and counters bad publicity for CCTV.'"
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London Police Credit CCTV Cameras With Six Solved Crimes Per Day

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  • Categories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dcollins (135727) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:28AM (#34683758) Homepage

    FTA: "The Met said among the 2,512 suspects caught this year, four were suspected murderers, 23 rapists and sex attackers and five wanted gunmen."

    But, what were the other 2,479 (98.7%)?

    • Re:Categories (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fujisawa Sensei (207127) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:32AM (#34683780) Journal

      FTA: "The Met said among the 2,512 suspects caught this year, four were suspected murderers, 23 rapists and sex attackers and five wanted gunmen."

      But, what were the other 2,479 (98.7%)?

      TFA also doesn't say anything about convictions either.

      • Re:Categories (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ZDRuX (1010435) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @05:38AM (#34684578)
        That's exactly what I was going to say. From TFA:

        The Met said among the 2,512 suspects caught this year, four were suspected murderers, 23 rapists and sex attackers and five wanted gunmen.

        Doesn't this basically say "we caught some people who may or may not have committed a crime"?!

        And what's with the misleading article title about six crimes "solved" and all they mention in the article were people who were caught that were suspected of a crime? This whole article doesn't add up.

    • Jaywalkers, I guess.

      But put it this way: 2512 suspects were caught, among them suspected murderers, rapists and gunmen. That sounds awesome, doesn't it?

      • Jaywalking isn't a crime [wikipedia.org] in the UK, except on a Motorway (where pedestrians aren't allowed).

        If I had to guess, I'd guess they were drink related [wikipedia.org] - vandalism, fighting, etc.

        • by mpe (36238)
          Jaywalking isn't a crime in the UK, except on a Motorway (where pedestrians aren't allowed).

          In the UK (as with most of Europe) pedestrians always have right of way on a public road over wheeled vehicles. Possibly this goes back as far as Roman times. The motorway situation is somewhat more complex since they are still public roads, a pedestrian on one is tresspassing. So you have two different laws interacting.
          • In the UK (as with most of Europe) pedestrians always have right of way on a public road over wheeled vehicles.

            You may well be correct about Europe but that's not strictly true in the UK. While the Highway Code makes provision for pedestrians, it is not criminal law but can be the basis for civil law. Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 [legislation.gov.uk]:

            A failure on the part of a person to observe a provision of the Highway Code shall not of itself render that person liable to criminal proceedings of any kind but any such failure may in any proceedings (whether civil or criminal, and including proceedings for an offence under the Traffic Acts, the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 or sections 18 to 23 of the Transport Act 1985) be relied upon by any party to the proceedings as tending to establish or negative any liability which is in question in those proceedings.

            IANAL but I think this confusion comes from rule 170 in the highway code:

            Watch out for pedestrians crossing a road into which you are turning. If they have started to cross they have priority, so give way.

    • by threaded (89367)

      Ohh, what's really going to bake your noodle later on is knowing that it wasn't until after the suspects were picked up for something else that they discovered they were suspected murderers, rapists and gunmen... ;-)

    • by Kugrian (886993) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @04:41AM (#34684334) Homepage

      People creating a public disturbance by flipping off CCTV cameras.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      "..2,512 suspects caught this year, four were suspected murderers, 23 rapists and sex attackers and five wanted gunmen."

      IOW they identified people on camera where they already knew how they were looking.
      Or at least they looked similar to those, as their lawyers will say.

      I'm sure they saw Bin Laden and Elvis several times too.

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      Mostly traffic offences; minor speeding, running red lights, illegal parking.

  • Solve, sure. Prevent? Clearly no. Cameras do not prevent crime; only assist in prosecuting.
  • Reading up on this more I also saw what the BBC reported with dailymail [dailymail.co.uk] that

    But Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville said Scotland Yard has revolutionized the use of CCTV by treating it like DNA or fingerprints.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1342010/Town-halls-squander-315m-CCTV-years-despite-massive-job-cuts.html#ixzz19OAaItlR [dailymail.co.uk]

    Treated like DNA eh?
    Granted this isn't the same era as 12 Angry Men where the woman's eyesight is called into question (aha cameras!), but still it leaves much to be desired unless a clear shot is gained. Being that I do not know much about what is judged as clear, anyone care to help clarify this here for me? Is there some confidence interval? Do they run facial recognition? (Perhaps I just have bad reading comprehension haha)

    P

    • by hitmark (640295)

      i suspect the quality is better then in-store cameras. as they may be from the early VHS era (complete with a single tape that have been recycled for decades).

    • Like DNA and fingerprints suggests two possibilities.

      1) Storage of images of suspects in a database.
      2) Technology that searches such a database of images for biometric patterns. Such technology does exist to identify people from metrics of facial features in images.

  • by juuri (7678) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @02:41AM (#34683818) Homepage

    A large proportion of the cash has been In London, where an estimated £200 million so far has been spent on the cameras. This suggests that each crime has cost £20,000 to detect.

    From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6082530/1000-CCTV-cameras-to-solve-just-one-crime-Met-Police-admits.html [telegraph.co.uk] (1.5 years ago)

    • by threaded (89367) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:06AM (#34683928) Homepage

      Actually: The Met said among the 2,512 suspects caught this year, four were suspected murderers, 23 rapists and sex attackers and five wanted gunmen.

      So the reality is 32 quality collars. Which makes it about £6 million each to detect.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        That assumes they were caught for that. Instead, I expect it's like the drunk driving roadblocks where one recently here found about 0.5% drunk and 1% wanted related to other crimes. So they may have gotten suspected murders in the DUI checkpoint, but only because they were incompetent (i.e. not going to the suspected murder's house and picking him up there, but instead waiting until he's caught in a routine traffic stop). But that's where it's headed now. It's safer for the cops to perform a traffic st
    • by pspahn (1175617)

      Economics must not dictate situations which are obviously religious.

  • Det Ch Insp Mick Neville, who heads the Met's identification unit, said CCTV images were "treated like fingerprints and DNA" by the force.

    Does that mean that now, because it is all digital, they keep the recordings forever, even if no one on a particular recording is suspected of, or committed, any crime at all?

  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:00AM (#34683904)
    Also in the article, it takes the police 59000 cameras to solve 6 crimes a day. That's one per 1000 cameras. Doubling the hit rate will require another 60000 cameras, at least. The article fails to state the general crime rate or the percentages of crimes solved. In Wales alone, 215.000 crimes were reported in a year, with a fall in crime rate of 9%. At 2200 crimes solved with cameras in the entire UK, the typical success rate of cameras is 0.1% at best, if you consider the rest of the UK crimeless. With crime falling 9% in Wales, this proves that cameras have no significant influence or help in solving crimes or reducing crime rates whatsoever.
    • by Blymie (231220)

      Thing is, how many of those crimes could have been solved without those cameras?

      You know, by people doing detective work? Neat thing about using that method ... it isn't 1984 like...

    • Also in the article, it takes the police 59000 cameras to solve 6 crimes a day. That's one per 1000 cameras.

      One per ten thousand cameras.

      At 2200 crimes solved with cameras in the entire UK, the typical success rate of cameras is 0.1% at best

      0.01% at best. Per day. Annually, the success rate is up to a whopping 3.58%....

  • Inbed Identity chips into all citizens so that scanners can keep track of where you are. Actually, they already do this with pets....

    Sure it sounds scary now, but just wait until Google partners with Facebook and Twitter: Now with FREE tracking chip integration (with maps, streetview, always on live augmented reality!) Get chipped today!

    Everyone will sign up!

  • by woodsrunner (746751) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:10AM (#34683942) Journal
    I would reckon a single red light camera in Chicago issues at least that many tickets per hour. Either they're pointing the cameras in the wrong direction or Brits really are as civil as they seem to be on Dr. Who.
    • by threaded (89367)

      TFA's CCTV cameras are not red-light cameras. In the UK red-light cameras are operated quite differently to the CCTV systems under discussion here, and are almost totally automated. IIRC after a high speed chase it is so difficult to pull the images, if any, from the red-light cameras that often they don't bother and instead rely on the video from a pursuit car or helicopter.

      • Aye, your descriptions are dead on. Appreciate you balancing my poor attempt at humour with some clear facts.

        Appreciate that in outlining the technology your elucidation underscores the reality that it still all comes down to real police work.
        • by black3d (1648913)

          You took that so very well! Rather than a degrading "Woosh!", you acknowledge the poster's literal assessment and even profer a self-deprecating explanation. With this degree of civility, you too could be British! If you're also patient and calm in queues, and enjoy tea and crumpets, I suspect you'd pass any residency testing with flying colors!

          * Rather, colours. See - I'd need to re-sit.

  • Yeah - they identified 2500 *suspects* (many of whom would later have turned out to be innocent) at the cost of surveilling 8 million people 24 hours a day for a year. Even if each inhabitant is only filmed once a day, that's well over 2,900 million false accusations of wrongdoing in the year in question, none of which the police have apologised for or compensated the victims of. The police should only surveill people for whom they have a genuine, pre-existing suspicion of intent to commit offences, based o
    • Even if each inhabitant is only filmed once a day, that's well over 2,900 million false accusations of wrongdoing in the year in question

      Wow you're claiming being filmed by a CCTV camera is the same as a false accusation. Congratulations, on a page full of paranoid nut jobs, you are the craziest.

  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:58AM (#34684160) Homepage
    There's a huge difference between a "crime solved" and a "crime detected", as Copperfield [blogspot.com], Bloggs [blogspot.com], and Bystander [blogspot.com] have so often explained.
    • The potential criminals gave up before acting when they saw the cameras looking back at them.
    • by mjwx (966435)
      Parent should be modded down, Not one of those links contained relevant information, they're just links to a few blogs run by bobbies and judges. The parent did not link to one bit of corroborating information.

      Sure they're entitled to their say in everything (provided that they respect the rules their job with various bits of sensitive info). It's not like the government dictates what they say.

      Sorry if this doesn't jive with non-British /.er's impression of a completely locked down Britain, V for ven
      • You'd have to actually read through those blogs in order to find out how the British police fiddle the crime stats. There isn't a single link to the evidence you want - because if such a link were provided, anyone could look at it and declare it invalid and incomplete. It would, after all, be an anecdote about life in the police with an assurance that "it's always like this" and a few dozen comments saying "yes, it's like that at our nick, too".

        It would take dozens (perhaps hundreds) of links to make the ca

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @04:27AM (#34684252)

    "imaginative testimony" by the police is a staple of British comedy. How do we know that this is not more of the same? Further, to be of any real value, the camera would have to solve enough ADDITIONAL crimes, over and above what would have been solved by "regular" police work to repay, at least, all of the expense of installing and maintaining them in reduced cost of police and/or other losses, and the report just doesn't even hint at that.

  • While I realize it's hard to measure, I would be interested to know to what extend CCTV prevents crimes rather than solve them. It sounds like the criminals mentioned still managed to commit their crime. They *may* be prevented from future crimes (unlikely for petty crimes in UK), but other than a mild feeling of justice that doesn't help the victims much.

    I would also like to know how many crimes were registered by CCTV camera's but could not be solved. This would help to understand how well these camera's

  • I bet the cops loved the fact they could use all the CCTV recognition from the recent student protests against cuts and austerity measures to boost their CCTV statistics.

  • by AHuxley (892839) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @05:47AM (#34684620) Homepage Journal
    The system was set up to track IRA truck bombs. A ton of fertilizer-based explosives, in booby trapped trucks.
    As this now seems a distant memory for some, the push is now on to keep the budgets and mindset.
    GCHQ is doing net tracking and voice prints. The revenue issues of OCR vehicle license plates is also fun.
    CCTV seems to be waiting for something. When the UK gov needs mass face recognition after random net organised riots?
    "Cameraman filmed Hungarian revolt" http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/11/local/me-miko11 [latimes.com]" Miko was shocked to learn that the Soviets had found and confiscated the footage in his locker and were using it to identify people."
    Any real threat will be one way, as the IRA showed or false flag/state sponsored groups seem to understand their missions will be one way or testing ect.
    Public confidence is low as they have a feel for how this system is going to be upgraded.
    • The system was set up to track IRA truck bombs. A ton of fertilizer-based explosives, in booby trapped trucks.
      As this now seems a distant memory for some, the push is now on to keep the budgets and mindset.

      AFAIK the only place that had CCTV cameras to combat IRA terrorism was the CIty of London. (For non Brits, that's just a one square mile financial area within london, not the whole of London, or even the centre of London.)

      Of course islamic terrorism has replaced IRA terrorism. And for sure CCTV has foile

  • by Garrynz (904755) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:13AM (#34684736)
    If someone wanted to murder and rob me I would rather a policeman standing where the camera is rather than the camera recording me getting murdered.
  • "the number of suspects who were identified using the cameras went up from 1,970 in 2009 to 2,512 this year. "

    In every single article posted on slashdot lately. Every single freaking article...

    DO THE FREAKING NORMALIZATION IN YOUR FREAKING STUDIES

  • I wonder how long they store the video of all these thousands of cameras. It must be a massive amount of data.
  • by bagofbeans (567926) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @12:02PM (#34687972)
    Lede says "Six crimes a day solved by CCTV, Met says" when body says "CCTV cameras across London help solve almost six crimes a day". help solve is not the same thing as solved.

    Then we have "The number of suspects who were identified using the cameras went up from 1,970 in 2009 to 2,512 this year."

    How many perps? Well "The Met said among the 2,512 suspects caught this year, four were suspected murderers, 23 rapists and sex attackers and five wanted gunmen.". That adds up to 32 to me... for how many CCTVs in the Metro area of London?
  • by Kaitiff (167826) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:06PM (#34688960) Homepage

    I just don't get why the Brits aren't more upset at the establishment 'keeping any eye' on them 24/7. Its already been proven that given the # of laws on the books NO-ONE can avoid committing an infraction against the law. A camera system that extensive means the gov't has the ability or at least the means to prosecute just about everyone in the country. Not to mention that treating everyone in the country as lawbreakers would do nothing more than enforce bad behavior, or at least anti-social behavior. I would think everyone would be walking around with Anonymous masks in public just to keep the illusion of privacy... or is anonymity illegal too?

  • by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @01:50PM (#34689562)

    Of course installing cameras helps in identification and prosecution of criminals. What these statistics don't mention is that the overall crime rate is more or less unchanged before/after the cameras. I'm all for prosecuting criminals, but these statistics are selected to make it seem like the cameras improve safety or reduce the cost of crime, and neither of those things is true -- this is an attempt to reframe the discussion from "cameras keep us safe", which they clearly don't to "cameras catch criminals" which is true but not what was promised.

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