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London Police Credit CCTV Cameras With Six Solved Crimes Per Day

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-to-be-installed-in-your-home dept.

Crime 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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Cost:Benefit? (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683738)

Last year, the headline was "One Crime Solved Per 1,000 London CCTV Cameras [slashdot.org]".

The rate can't be much better this year.

- RG>

Re:Cost:Benefit? (3, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683754)

Especially as most people convicted aren't actually punished anyway. What's the point in using expensive technology to catch a thief then just giving him a small fine or a caution?

Re:Cost:Benefit? (5, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683838)

Especially as most people convicted aren't actually punished anyway. What's the point in using expensive technology to catch a thief then just giving him a small fine or a caution?

What's the point of giving petty* thieves more than a small fine or a caution upon conviction?

Should everyone, no matter how minor or severe the infraction, be sent to Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison [youtube.com], where they get to make big rocks into little rocks until they die and get buried under a small white cross across the way from their cell?

Should the presence of video evidence, or the lack thereof, contribute to such sentencing? Or perhaps more importantly: Should the expense of such video evidence be a factor in the sentencing?

Discuss.

*: I wanted to use the word "minor" there, as in "minor infraction." But that might be confused with "minors," so I didn't use that word. "Petty" is the best I could come up with, though it doesn't quite fit either, but at the same time I wanted to be concise. In a twist of irony, in the course failing to conjure a better adjective than "minor" for the sake of being concise, it seems that this footnote has eliminated all concision in an attempt to explain my choice of words lest they be misconstrued by the pedants here (of which I am one). Bummer.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683940)

>*: I wanted to use the word "minor" there, as in "minor infraction." But that might be confused with "minors," so I didn't use that word. "Petty" is the best I could come up with, though it doesn't quite fit either, but at the same time I wanted to be concise. In a twist of irony, in the course failing to conjure a better adjective than "minor" for the sake of being concise, it seems that this footnote has eliminated all concision in an attempt to explain my choice of words lest they be misconstrued by the pedants here (of which I am one). Bummer.

You're autistic enough for it to be contagious. Stop it.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683950)

You're autistic enough for it to be contagious. Stop it.

I can't stop it.

(There! Top that!) ;)

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684018)

If you really are, slashdot posting is probably unhealthful for you. The social pressure here seems deliberately built to demand excessively precise expression. That's going to aggravate high-functioning asbergers' sufferers into an OCD state sometimes.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684046)

And going and doing other things (other things?) is so much more healthful.

Oh, wait. I don't get along with anyone out there than I do here. Exercise in solitude in 3..2..1...

Next!

Re:Cost:Benefit? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684026)

Should everyone, no matter how minor or severe the infraction, be sent to Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison [youtube.com], where they get to make big rocks into little rocks until they die and get buried under a small white cross across the way from their cell?

Nope, but I think we could make more of a point about where they're headed if they continue down that road; eg. A second offense could earn them a mandatory seven days banged up with somebody unpleasant, just to give them a taste of what "grown-up" prison is like.

It's got to be better than the stupid ASBO system - which just teaches them that the police have no real power over them.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (5, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684070)

The problem is that sentencing in the UK is pretty lax for non-petty crimes [menmedia.co.uk] 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:Cost:Benefit? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684164)

Blame the EU and its human rights crap.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684170)

Note, before you mark this as a troll, mods, note that this refers not to "human rights" per se but the EU Constitution's idea of what a "human right" is.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684236)

Can you give any examples?

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1, Informative)

SteveAstro (209000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684544)

The "right to a family" has allowed a failed asylum seeker, who murdered a little girl by dragging her along a road under the car he was druving without a licence, tax or insurance, to claim that deporting him would be such an infringement of his human rights, it can't happen - and the judges agreed.

This is despite the fact he is no longer in a relationship with the childrens mother.

Steve

Re:Cost:Benefit? (5, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684450)

That's why Britain has sky-high crime rates compared to execution-happy Texas.

Oh wait....

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684162)

yes. it's that simple.

in a country with welfare and public assistance there's NO EXCUSE for thieving bastards. they are simply scum, and we are all better off without them on the streets.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

aarggh (806617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684382)

Should everyone, no matter how minor or severe the infraction, be sent to Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison [youtube.com],

Where is this "Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison you speak of? Someone at work took my stapler so I'd like to arrange for him/her to be sent there once convicted!

Re:Cost:Benefit? (5, Interesting)

onceuponatime (821046) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (2)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684590)

Heh, and here is some more anecdotal evidence.
1. Van parked in loading bay for ten minutes while the load was being delivered and the return load was being dragged to the van ( ie the van was unmanned for ten minutes ). Result - Vehicle's registered owner hit by hundred and something quid fine.
2. Taxi reverses into my car and stoves in the passenger side doors, then drives away. Result - Cops say the registered owner cannot find out who was driving at the time so they (the cops) can't do anything.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684536)

Best. Footnote. Evah!

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683804)

Maybe if they stick a camera up my arse, they could help me with my hemorrhoids!

Re:Cost:Benefit? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684256)

Maybe if they stick a camera up my arse, they could help me with my hemorrhoids!

But then you'd have polaroids, which can be much more painful.

For all the /. whining about camera's (1, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:For all the /. whining about camera's (1)

SteveAstro (209000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684558)

As far as I can see, the reason "no one complains" is that the existtence of so-called private networks is concatenated into the whole problem of cameras in general.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (4, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683812)

Last year, the headline was "One Crime Solved Per 1,000 London CCTV Cameras [slashdot.org]".

The rate can't be much better this year.

- RG>

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.

It doesn't make sense, does it? (3, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683960)

"... though I'm guessing that the difference isn't just the police program reaching maturity or something like that."

Maybe they are just lying.

Re:It doesn't make sense, does it? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684352)

The Met are proven liars at the highest level:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1496382/Shot-Brazilian-did-not-jump-barrier-and-run.html

The police in the UK have lost even the middle classes and are very unpopular.

The spread of CCTV under Nu Labour is just another illustration of how close socialism is to fascism. The UK is a turn-key fascist state and we will probably tip into that once we fall off the finance cliff.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683964)

The figures don't follow the actuality. 60,000 cameras may "belong" to the police, but if you add in the private cameras (which you must do in order to be realistic) the number in London is now actually over 1 million.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

wmac (1107843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684066)

If we put cameras inside homes we can catch even more (perhaps 8 crimes a day).

Helllooo Mr. Orwell !!

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

ceCA (675081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684576)

Good idea. We can also enforce that all sex is in missionary position as I think most states in US have laws against sex in any other position. We have not been able to enforce these laws but thanks to PROGRESS we can now enforce these benevolent laws. As a card carrying Republican. What do you have to hide? I am also against spilling the seed. We can also catch witches in the act with these universal home cameras as in 1984.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684152)

Think how many crimes would be solved or prevented if people were never allowed to leave their homes unless they submitted a request for a "public pass" and then had to be escorted by a state official everywhere they went! And had video cameras in their homes!

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684180)

Last year, the headline was "One Crime Solved Per 1,000 London CCTV Cameras [slashdot.org]"

I guess your point is that there are numerous ways to present results to outline the 'hint' one wants to pass to their audience? If so, you can't be more correct.

It would help to know the actual numbers without beating around the bush, but from what I understand London is quite the CCTV city- More than ten years back, some of my friends where approached by aggressive locals at a busy London street. My friends attacked them first because they were sure where the thing was going from the locals' attitude ("piss off you foreign piece of sh*t" and the like). The police was there in literally under 2 minutes, and my friends thought they were in more trouble. But the police immediately arrested the locals, because they had seen the whole thing through CCTV- which means they were not only watching, but were ready for field deployment.

Re:Cost:Benefit? (1)

nosfucious (157958) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684426)

And even better, Number of crimes prevented: A big fat zero.

Thoughtcrime is getting harder every day, but at least it's still possible.

I have some genius ideas! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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?!

Re:I have some genius ideas! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683906)

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?!

Blair, Eric Blair

Re:I have some genius ideas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683966)

If an author publishes under a pen name, then they most likely expect people to refer to them using that name.

Re:I have some genius ideas! (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684218)

I don't think he went far enough. Humans are prone to corruption and crime, I mean that's why we need the 24/7/365 surveillance. What we need to do is work on creating smart computer systems that can take over the monitoring of these tracking systems. They'd need to be able to identify criminal acts in progress and get that reported to human police officers.

And that would just be the beginning! We'll be living in Utopia in no time.

Right? :D

Re:I have some genius ideas! (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684262)

Everything will be all right. You are in my hands. I am here to protect you. You have nowhere to go. You have nowhere to go.

Re:I have some genius ideas! (1)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684292)

I was thinking more of Asimov's and Herbert's books, but that works too. I've only seen THX 1138 once ages ago.

Yay! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683750)

As long as something 'stops' a few criminals, then that is all that matters. Freedom and privacy are behind stopping terrorism (yes, terrorism) and criminals in order of importance. If you don't wish to sacrifice your liberties for a little security and a government which you must trust at all times, then you're just a terrorist!

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683830)

Your trolling-fu is weak.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683860)

It's not trolling, it's sarcasm. Often used by the Philosophes des Lumieres (i.e. Descartes, Rousseau, Voltaire...). Your culture is weak.

Categories (5, Interesting)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683758)

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 (4, Insightful)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683780)

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 (4, Insightful)

ZDRuX (1010435) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Categories (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684020)

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?

Re:Categories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684586)

Jaywalking is not a crime in the UK.

Re:Categories (2)

threaded (89367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684126)

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... ;-)

Solve yes... (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683772)

Solve, sure. Prevent? Clearly no. Cameras do not prevent crime; only assist in prosecuting.

Re:Solve yes... (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683878)

Solve, sure. Prevent? Clearly no. Cameras do not prevent crime; only assist in prosecuting.

You can't really say that for sure. It would be very hard to get stats on crimes that never happened.

You can't just compare the overall crimes stats between now and before the cameras because while some crimes are prevented, other crimes that wouldn't have been reported are now reported due to greater confidence in police action because of the CCTV cameras.

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

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684084)

Sure you can: http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/linkscopy/GlasgowCCTV.html [ratical.org]

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:Solve yes... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684552)

Whilst the Glasgow fall in crime was not deemed to be significantly greater than the fall in crime in the control areas, the sister study in Airdrie DID indicate a statistically significant fall in the CCTV area, greater than in the control areas.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/1998/12/978abe73-d412-4ea3-86a7-e5acf24c8d7a [scotland.gov.uk]

The GP is right in that many studies simply don't come to a conclusion because of the difficulty establishing statistical significance. Not because crime didn't fall.

Re:Solve yes... (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684548)

They also contribute generously to the Met's collection of photos of people wearing hoods.

Reading up on this more I found... (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683774)

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)

Point is when someone makes a comparison between fingerprints and DNA to CCTV (not always stellar HD) cameras, I start to wonder...

Re:Reading up on this more I found... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683944)

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).

Re:Reading up on this more I found... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684612)

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.

Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (3, Informative)

juuri (7678) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683818)

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)

Re:Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (0)

DamienRBlack (1165691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683890)

Yes, but the bulk of the cost is installing the camera the first time, I'm sure cost per crime will go down over time. And how much do you think it costs to get detectives out there doing things the old fashioned way? So much that they don't bother, that's how much.

Re:Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (1)

threaded (89367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683970)

No, it is actually the other way around. Most of these Police CCTV systems are installed under PFI which means the costs to the public purse rises over their life-time.

HTH

Re:Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684622)

No that doesn't help unless you provide evidence or even an argument, rather than just an empty statement.

Re:Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (3, Informative)

threaded (89367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683928)

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.

Re:Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (0)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684588)

Someone ought to FoI them asking what the other 2,480 suspects were.

Re:Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683998)

Surely you can't put a price on peace of mind!

Re:Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684336)

Let us be thankful we have commerce. Buy more. Buy more now. Buy. And be happy.

Re:Oh boy, what's that cost per crime down to? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684314)

Economics must not dictate situations which are obviously religious.

Numbers lying? (1)

undecim (1237470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683820)

Out of how many total crimes?

And how many would have been easily solved without CCTV? (Although if it makes it easier with CCTV, that's not so bad)

Fashion life, fashion caps, fashion handbags (1)

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treated like fingerprints and DNA? (1)

threaded (89367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683896)

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?

Only 0.1% of crimes get solved with cameras (3, Interesting)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Only 0.1% of crimes get solved with cameras (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683914)

Oops, giant miscalculation, it should be 1 percent. Still trivial given the deviation and the 9% fall in crime rate, but still an error.

Re:Only 0.1% of crimes get solved with cameras (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683972)

It's even more trivial than that: you aren't counting the private cameras, which realistically must be included. If you count those, there are over 1 million in London.

Re:Only 0.1% of crimes get solved with cameras (1)

nanomanc (858727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684318)

If you don't pay for your camera to be registered with the council then the footage from it can be inadmissible, or so I've heard.

Re:Only 0.1% of crimes get solved with cameras (1)

Blymie (231220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684058)

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...

Next step (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683936)

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!

Re:Next step (1)

Partaolas (1926386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684124)

I believe that at first there will be some apprehension and it won't be as easy as you describe. Nevertheless, after the second year when the number of arrests based on the identity/tracking chip increases from 73.053 to 127.314 (including 23 violent/dangerous offenders) the public confidence will rise, countering initial bad coverage and concerns about the cost and privacy issues.

Brits Sure Must Be Well Mannered! (2)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683942)

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.

Re:Brits Sure Must Be Well Mannered! (2)

threaded (89367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684002)

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.

It works! (1)

janestarz (822635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683962)

Oh hey, it works. Now here's my privacy. Sure, sure, take it. By the bucketload if you can. We've just proven this works!

Bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683978)

Someone needs to independently audit those numbers.

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684110)

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

Funny... so what do you think the other 2480 were caught doing? Parking tickets probably.

Ah bbc

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684406)

It can't all be rape, murder, arson, rape and jaywalking.
Loitering with intent? Being anti-social? Looking at people in a funny way? Walking in a silly way without a proper license? /I like rape.

False accusations (1)

dugeen (1224138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684144)

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 on real-world information.

SOLVED crimes? Or 'DETECTED' crimes (4, Informative)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684160)

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.

Re:SOLVED crimes? Or 'DETECTED' crimes (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684176)

<quote>There's a huge difference between a "crime solved" and a "crime detected", as <a href="http://coppersblog.blogspot.com/">Copperfield</a>, <a href="http://pcbloggs.blogspot.com/">Bloggs</a>, and <a href="http://thelawwestofealingbroadway.blogspot.com/">Bystander</a> have so often explained.</quote>

Correct you should be modded up!

Precrime (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684324)

The potential criminals gave up before acting when they saw the cameras looking back at them.

Re:SOLVED crimes? Or 'DETECTED' crimes (2)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684398)

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 vendetta was a movie, not a bloody docco. Go watch BBC news, then Fox news, decide which one is trying to get you to believe in arrogant political dogma.

imaginative testimony (2)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Prevented? (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684332)

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 could work as a deterrent.

Cops rubbing hands in glee after student protests (1)

thegoldenear (323630) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684492)

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.

Re:Cops rubbing hands in glee after student protes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34684628)

The protestors loved that they could film and youtube the police beatings, too. The panopticon looks both ways.

They're doing it wrong (1)

ninja59 (1029474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684574)

From the article:

But the move from VHS to digital technology was a "double-edged sword", he said. "We get high-quality images that are easily searchable but they are often not held as long. "With VHS people held 31 tapes, one for each day of the month, and it did not require specialist officers to get hold of the stuff. "People are now being confronted by computers and hard drives and told to get those images and it is not as easy."

They must be doing something wrong, because for the money they are spending, either the SW or some basic training should make it pretty easy to grab X amount of time off an HD and burn it to a CD, DVD or USB drive. And as fare as holding on to it goes. I have a 650GB HD because it was the smallest one I could find that day. How high quality are these cameras?

The gap between the old and the new (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34684620)

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.
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