Only one crime was solved by each 1,000 CCTV cameras in London last year, a report into the city's surveillance network has claimed.Austin, Dallas, Houston and other US cities investing in public video surveillance should take heed of this new report. Proponents of CCTV often admit that cameras don't reduce crime, but instead argue that they help solve them after the fact. But Britain's example shows that's not true, either. In that light, there's little sense in throwing good money after bad to follow the Brits' lead. In a tight budgetary environment, cities should shelve CCTV programs and shift resources toward priorities that measurably affect crime.
The internal police report found the million-plus cameras in London rarely help catch criminals.
In one month CCTV helped capture just eight out of 269 suspected robbers.
David Davis MP, the former shadow home secretary, said: "It should provoke a long overdue rethink on where the crime prevention budget is being spent."
The Metropolitan Police has been extraordinarily slow to act to deal with the ineffectiveness of CCTV
He added: "CCTV leads to massive expense and minimum effectiveness.
"It creates a huge intrusion on privacy, yet provides little or no improvement in security.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
A cost-benefit nightmare: One crime solved per 1,000 surveillance cameras
I've argued many times before that surveillance cameras in public spaces provide little crime fighting bang for the buck, often citing Britain's example. Now out of the UK comes this news, via the BBC, showing how little crime fighting benefit that nation has seen from its massive investment in CCTV: