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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: CCTVs & Terror.
By jmunjr on 9/24/2007 6:00:53 PM , Rating: 3
Let's see what else can CCTVs do(potentially do in the future)?

Track individuals movements and keep a permanent historical records of such

Identify items and possessions on that individual, including literature he/she may be reading

Identify individuals with whom a person may associate

I can keep going if you please...

Let's just think for a moment a government with large scale use of CCTVs becomes tyrannical(most already have actually).. All of a sudden this tyrannical government now has enormous amounts of data spanning years of every citizen. Anyone who could be a potential enemy of this tyrannical state can now be much more easily identified and found.

That is the problem with CCTVs and technology to support it. We assume our governments wil always be benevolent. Our right to bear arms wasn't intended to allow us to hunt -that right was already implied without the need to have it in writing. The right to bear arms was in there to protect us from tyranny in government, so if the government went bad on us we the people could fight back.

By giving the government the power of open surveillance we give them a LOT of power, power which we as a people have nothing to counter it with. If the government goes bad on us we are totally screwed if surveillance has been allowed to exist.

Again, we all take for granted that our governments(s) will always be great and citizen loving. If history proves anything it says that governments will always fall and be replaced, whether by revolution or by subversion. We just need to be sure that if and when something goes awry we the people still have the power to fight back..

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