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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 smitty3268 on 9/24/2007 11:42:08 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's morally right that if an attacker isn't threatening your life then you don't have any right to take theirs away. I don't think there's a court in the country that would have a problem with you shooting an attacker who has a gun - that's textbook self-defense. But if they don't have one, then why shoot them? Why not just stick it in their face and call the police to come pick him up? Killing him is a lot more than eye-for-an-eye justice IMHO.


RE: Is this a surprise to anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 9/24/2007 12:15:13 PM , Rating: 3
> "But if they don't have one, then why shoot them?"

Because it doesn't take a gun to kill someone. If you are being faced by an "attacker" threatening force to compel you to surrender your property, your life is potentially in danger. Whether they have a gun, a knife, a piece of wood, or nothing at all. People have been beaten to death countless times with nothing but fists and feet.


By smitty3268 on 9/24/2007 12:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Like I said, if your life is genuinely in danger, then I don't see a problem. That's self defense and no one has a problem with it. I'm just saying that if you are in no danger at all, it seems bad (to me) to kill someone. I know others feel differently.


"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan











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