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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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RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By Spivonious on 9/24/2007 9:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
So if someone tried to pickpocket you, you'd kill them? That makes me scared to walk down the street. What if I bumped into in a way that made it seem like I was trying to rob you? "The police would have to bring a body bag."

Let the police do their job and stop being some sort of vigilante.

RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By TomZ on 9/24/2007 9:56:23 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously you have no experience with the police. The chances of them helping you out when you are being robbed is about 1 in 100000. They just show up later to write up the report.

RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By masher2 on 9/24/2007 10:18:38 AM , Rating: 4
Exactly. In many major cities, crimes like home burglary, auto theft, pickpocketing, etc, aren't even investigated unless there's a violence involved, or the victim knows the perpetrator personally and therefore gives the police an open-and-shut case.

By rdeegvainl on 9/24/2007 10:52:44 AM , Rating: 2
robbed at gunpoint and pickpocket are 2 completely different events, I don't understand how you confused them unless you did so deliberately to make the poster sound irrational.

RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By JustTom on 9/24/2007 11:12:19 AM , Rating: 1
If I were robbed at gunpoint the police will have to bring a body bag to the crime scene.

He said robbed at gunpoint, so unless you bump into him and wave a gun in his face you should be fine.

RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By Spivonious on 9/24/2007 11:27:32 AM , Rating: 2
lol, yeah I missed that part. But that just makes it worse. The guy already has his gun out. You make a move for yours and you get shot in the head.

RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By rdeegvainl on 9/24/2007 11:53:11 AM , Rating: 3
or you make a move for your "wallet" like they ask.

RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By Spivonious on 9/24/2007 3:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think a handgun fits in my back pocket.

RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By masher2 on 9/24/2007 3:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I know someone who keeps a small 25 cal handgun inside his wallet. The wallet is even constructed so he's able to fire the gun without removing it.

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