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CCTV image of a pickpocket  (Source: Evening Standard)
The use of CCTVs continues to be a hot political debate in the U.K.

The city of London has more than 10,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras deployed around the city, but the use of the controversial technology does not help solve crime, according to several local politicians.

All cameras installed in London cost taxpayers an estimated £200 million -- approximately $400M USD -- with politicians arguing the city has to re-evaluate the way they are used.  According to research provided by the British Liberal Democrats political party, the city districts with the most CCTV cameras also have the worst rates of solved crimes.

"Our figures show that there is no link between a high number of CCTV cameras and a better crime clear-up rate," said Dee Doocey, Liberal Democrats spokesperson.  "Boroughs with thousands of CCTV cameras are no better at doing so than those which have a few dozen."

Numbers provided by Doocey indicate only one in five crimes are solved in all London boroughs.

London's Scotland Yard is implementing several new procedures to try to improve the effectiveness of the 10,000 CCTVs in place in all 32 London boroughs.  

"Although CCTV has its place, it is not the only solution in preventing or detecting crime."

The United Kingdom currently leads the rest of Europe in number of CCTVs in use, with more than one million already in use.  The technology has drawn a lot of criticism from some politicians and privacy advocates in the U.K.

A quick Google News search for "CCTV" will indicate a number of British news stories that show how CCTV evidence is being used in criminal cases against suspects.  For example, CCTV several school children were caught brandishing an AK-47 on a train station platform.  The CCTV cameras also helped police identify London tube-train bombing suspects after the July 7, 2005 attack.

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Best Thing
By SavagePotato on 9/24/2007 8:53:57 AM , Rating: 2
The best thing for dealing with crime comes to mind from that recent case of the 13 year old girl that blasted two would be home invasionists with a shotgun.

The only thing thats bad about self defense at large is that much of the public is barely smart enough to tie their own shoes. A beleif strongly cemented by dealing with people on a daily basis regarding internet tech support. I wouldn't give a sharp spoon much less a gun to the people I have to deal with on a daily basis.

Realy though, one can't complain too sharply about their privacy in public. Thats sort of why it's called public, anything goes. Which generaly means if your going to walk down the street with a peeping thong doing the napoleon dynamite dance, be prepared for the possibility someone might see it.

RE: Best Thing
By jmunjr on 9/24/2007 5:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
I cannot leave my home in Houston without being subjected to a surveillance camera, so that argument goes out the window.

I should not have to be subjected to surveillance once I step out of my home. nobody should. Surveillance should be left up to private entities on private property and nothing else.

There was a reason Orwell wrote "1984", and it wasn't for fun.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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