CCTV is making the world a better place, say Police

28 December 2010

Bitterwallet - Big Brother is watching youYou may feel like you live in an Orwellian world where your life is invaded by faceless forces, and you'd be right. Not only is the government considering plans to censor what you do in the privacy of your own home (thanks partly to enthusiastic religious campaigners), but you can't walk down a high street without your every move being recorded.

Since 1999, the number of CCTV cameras in Britain has increased from 21,000 to a smack in the arse off 60,000 in 2010. But it's for your own good, say the Police - and they have proof.

According to the Metropolitan Police, CCTV helps solve almost six crimes a day in London; out of 2,512 suspects identified using cameras this year, four were suspected murderers, five were wanted gunmen and 23 were sex attackers.

"The key to our success is that images, unidentified images, are treated as a forensic discipline," said a Met spokesperson. "They are treated like fingerprints and DNA."

Of course, CCTV isn't just for capturing murderers; London councils issued £7.3 million in speeding fines in 12 months thanks to mobile speeding cameras - a more contentious use of CCTV than tracking down violent criminals.

It's all girst to the mill in the debate over privacy and civil liberties; on the one side is government and many members of the public - if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide. Standing defiantly in their way are those who share the views of organisations like Big Brother Watch - the state has seized too much power and will only continue to chip away at the rights of the individual.

TOPICS:   Privacy

9 comments

  • Dert
    The peoiple they identifed were probably caught by the traffic camera's rather than CCTV.....intersting report here on how much councils have spent in the last 3 years..... http://www.walletpop.co.uk/2010/11/30/councils-spent-300m-on-cctv-in-three-years/
  • The B.
    Hmmm, better? No. Easier to catch criminals, yes, CCTV won't stop you being murdered, mugged, raped, etc but it will make it easier for the police to keep their crime figures rosey, a fact which is of little comfort to the victims.
  • CuriousTurtle
    What a ridiculous comment, The Real Bob! You think victims don't care whether criminals are caught? You're wrong. Do you want Police to stop collecting fingerprints and DNA from crime scenes too? CCTV is just another tool... and so are you.
  • darkspark88
    Technology just makes the police lazier. Look at how they handled the student protests, they simply don't have the experience of managing actual police duties anymore. CCTV allows the police to let crimes happen then tidy up the aftermath. Does the police detective exist anymore? When is the last time I heard of a detective making a big bust on their on instinct and prowess? Even the big operations are " Lets watch the criminalss and drug dealers for a few weeks on CCTV then do a big raid and possibly get the wrong people."
  • Isaac H.
    Why bother, they don't punish/deter wrongdoers on odd occasions they are caught.
  • The B.
    @curiousTurtle, I was implying that capturing someone being raped on CCTV isn't useful until after the event, but don't let that get in the way of your ill informed rant whilst making fatuous assumptions about me. One can only assume your moniker is due to your semblance to a turtle head nosing it's way out from the buttocks you so obviously dwell between.
  • CuriousTurtle
    @The Real Bob, if the CCTV is being monitored live it could well result in the crime being interrupted, the offender being caught and the victim's trauma being reduced. More thinking, less trolling, that's the ticket. Going on about 'rosey crime figures' as though you're some edgy social commentator. Read the article again and have a think about it this time. Is it better to have CCTV or not? Better to have the chance of interrupting a crime/identifying the offender later, or worse? Remember, you're not Charlie Brooker or Bill Hicks, you're a bored nobody with a computer (like me).
  • CCUK B.
    As a victim of crime I can honestly say I don't care if the criminal is caught. The act has been committed, and will continue to be committed for as long as society is unequal. Catching the criminal doesn't make me feel any better, it doesn't improve their life any, it doesn't change the situation for so many. I'd rather have the problems be dealt with than a few (thousand) cameras get erected and then be told that "everything is alright, we have cameras".
  • The B.
    I'm not actually trolling, whilst I do often troll, in this instance, no. I'm more concerned about the continual erosion of the police force, the erosion of their powers, the fact that due to pc legislation they don't seem to know where they stand and more importantly the fecking stupid prison system that used to be a deterrent but now (again due to pc legislation) seems to more like a budget hotel stay (I'm aware I'm sounding like a D Mail journo). Thinking that you can reduce the number of police officers and replace it with CCTV is tantamount to BP drilling standards, at best badly thought out, at worst a disaster waiting to happen. Incidentally, re-read what you wrote, there's a lot of IF's in there, most CCTV is used in backtracking from crime scenes, realistically, it's only drunk brawls that occur real-time in CCTV mainly because drunks are too addled to realise they're on it. Let me put it another way, what would you rather: CCTV The re-opening of the DNA that is being shut down to save money More beat police

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