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

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:24AM (#34683742)

    You know what would reduce crimes?

    Cameras installed in your house, where the powers that be can watch your every move.
    Everyone having a tracking tag embedded in their skull so the powers that be can watch your every move.
    Police being able to ask people for IDs and have them register as they go from one street or block to the next, so the powers that be can track your every move.

    Orwell was so smart, but not in the way people think. We shouldn't see it as a warning so much as a suggestion! Who's with me? Come on! If you're not with me you're against me. You're not a terrorist, are you?!

  • Categories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @03:28AM (#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%)?

  • by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @04:00AM (#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.
  • Re:Cost:Benefit? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @04:39AM (#34684070) Homepage

    The problem is that sentencing in the UK is pretty lax for non-petty crimes [] as well. And victims are often prosecuted if they do anything to try to protect themselves. It's a system that rewards violence, punishes resistance, and doesn't provide any incentive to change for the criminals.

  • Re:Solve yes... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @04:42AM (#34684084) Homepage

    Sure you can: []

    The drop in crime with cameras is the exact same as the drop in crime everywhere. If the cameras themselves had anything to do with it, you'd see a larger drop in crime where they're used.

  • Re:Cost:Benefit? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by onceuponatime ( 821046 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @05:53AM (#34684384)

    They are right, they caught me doing an illegal right turn on a scooter with CCTV and sent me a ticket. Crime +1.

    However, when I was hit by a hit and run driver under such a camera, flew over the bonnet but managed to get their license plate number and call it in immediately. Nada. They wouldn't even go around to the persons place where the car was registered and the investigation unit told me they would *never* go around to someone's place for a hit and run unless there was serious injury inflicted and then repeated *serious*.

    When I left a bag behind in the Eurostar with expensive camera lens and called it in immediately. When I got the bag back there was a lens from 300 quid missing. I called the transport police. I thought they would have trouble seeing the lens on the screen but he reported that he couldn't identify me. Despite that I was wearing motorcycle gear and arrying a motocycle topbox. I suspect he didn't even look.

    So yeah. They are definately used to give tickets to criminals breaking traffic laws and for parking illegally as well.And they have been seen to be peering deep into people's bedrooms. Possibly they are used in very large crimes, but when the policitians talk crime I imagine that most people think of across the spectrum crime. If they knew that in reality 95% of all crime that could benefit from CCTV detection it isn't even bothered with they might think differently. Joe public won't have a clue unless they can tally it up against personal experience and in my case it sucks.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:10AM (#34684456)
    For all the /. whining about camera's in public places not one word of protest is raised about the many hundreds of thousand private security cameras installed in the same type of places. The shopping centre (you yanks may call it a mall), super market, local chippy all have security camera's installed for two reasons, 1. the prevention of crime by notifying potential criminals that they are on film*. 2. To catch a criminal when a crime has occurred. This may sound familiar because it's exactly the reason CCTV camera's are installed.

    So for all the caterwauling I hear about London's CCTV cameras I hear nothing, not a single whimper about the many thousands more CCTV cameras operated by private organisation. In my city, Perth there are few hundred public CCTV cameras in places where people tend to get mugged or beaten up after dark, but there are many thousands of private CCTV cameras in every Coles, Woolworths and Big W in the city alone.

    Oh, but it's teh evile gubbermint I hear ringing in my ears, that old chestnut. You do know that all the Met (Metropolitan Police) have to do to get privately recorded footage from Mr Blackwell the butcher is ask for it with probable cause. Which is exactly what is needed to access London's public CCTV footage. SHOCK HORROR, the same rules have to be obeyed, in fact seeing as the system is logged and audited they have to be obeyed more stringently and it's not like corporate entities have a history of selling private information, OH WAIT, they do.

    So I still don't hear a single murmur of protest against private CCTV networks. Anyone?

    Perhaps that is because we've been under CCTV surveillance for a very long time, decades before the first public CCTV camera went up in London and they have proven to be an effective crime prevention and evidence gathering tool in solving crimes in shopping centres. More so I still don't have a telescreen, my house is over 15 KM's from the nearest public CCTV camera and Perth is not a big city. I'd bet a lot of money on the fact that someone wants to put cameras into my home, but it's not the government, it's the bastards who want to make money by selling my private info.

    * Criminals are by definition cowards given courage by anonymity, remove that and they revert to their craven state.
  • Re:Cost:Benefit? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DaveGod ( 703167 ) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @11:35AM (#34686636)

    Well, it would seem to be much better.

    From the article, there's just under 60,000 cameras now. Six crimes solved per day times 365 days = about 2,200 crimes solved. So that's about one crime solved per 30 cameras per year.

    Going from 1/1000 to 1/30 is a massive improvement, though I'm guessing that the difference isn't just the police program reaching maturity or something like that. For starters, I'll bet they count crimes differently between the two programs.

    Still, even the modern figure seems pretty bad. So you've got 30 cameras up all year, with all the needed infrastructure behind these 30 cameras, and all together, they solved one crime. A quarter million hours of surveillance (30 cameras * 24 hours * 365 days) and you only solve one crime.

    Apples and oranges I'm afraid. TFA refers to 2,512 crimes solved with the help of CCTV in London, while the just under 60,000 cameras refers to the whole of Britain. This figure also, I assume, refers to ones with a police or other government agency employee at the other end, but from the text the chap from the Met appears to be referring to all forms of CCTV.

    Even if the figures were all apples-to-apples they wouldn't be worth analysing anyway. What does "help solve" mean? Actually, I'm a bit concerned what they mean by "crimes" since they later see fit to reduce it to "suspects caught", oh and by the way those 4 "suspected murderers" - suspected? I thought these crimes were solved?

    What do they mean "five wanted gunmen"? So... Are we saying the CCTV merely helped them locate people they were already looking for? That has value and everything but the further we get through the article the further we get away from the initial impression where CCTV stills are being paraded in court as Exhibit A.

    The entire article is meaningless gibberish. The most I can take from it is that this is the best the Met can do to talk up the effectiveness of the cameras. On the plus side, they are clearly really really bad at fudging the data to look good.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein