07 May 2008

First Gun Bans, Then Camera Boom: UK Crime-Fighting A Bust

Massive investment in CCTV cameras to prevent crime in the UK has failed to have a significant impact, despite billions of pounds spent on the new technology, a senior police officer piloting a new database has warned. Only 3 percent of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV images, despite the fact that Britain has more security cameras than any other country in Europe.

"Use of CCTV images for court evidence has so far been very poor, according to Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, the officer in charge of the Metropolitan police unit. "CCTV was originally seen as a preventative measure," Neville told the Security Document World Conference in London. "Billions of pounds has been spent on kit, but no thought has gone into how the police are going to use the images and how they will be used in court. It's been an utter fiasco: only 3 percent of crimes were solved by CCTV. There's no fear of CCTV. Why don't people fear it? [They think] the cameras are not working."

Well, well . . . first a virtual ban on firearms was promised to stem crime. The do-gooders gleefully watched millions of dollars of personal firearms, some historic, some handed down from father to son to grandaughter, be destroyed. Then the wiring much of England so that the government could watch you day and night. And still no dent in crime. So much for government intervention.

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