back to article UK CCTV numbers 'may be overstated'

Police forces are seeking electronic transfers of data from local authority cameras to police forces, according to Nick Garvan, assistant chief constable of Thames Valley Police. Describing such cameras as "an indispensable investigative tool", he told the Home Affairs Select Committee last week: "Any perception on the part of …


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  1. Wayland Sothcott
    Black Helicopters

    TIA 'under construction'

    Clearly they would like to achieve the "Orwellian infrastructure". They have identified council cameras as their first target stating that an electronic police feed would mean the data "met evidential standards". Turn this around and it means that police evidence from the same camera is of higher value in court than your own copy.

    Clearly ACPO want better regulation of CCTV. Their next target is business CCTV, with the promis of police response and 'evedential standard' data.

    Eventually in order to have a licence to operate a camera you will require a feed to the police. This will be via a 3rd party such as the supplier of the cameras, who would operate a server with a police feed to make things easier.

    The insurance firms will also make it a requiement. You may even need them in your home but at this stage the sheeple will oppose it.

    Traffic is policed with cameras, pedestrians are too, soon they will be policing inside shops via cameras.

    If you drive south over the QE2 bridge you meet a new breed of cameras. They used to just watch traffic from far away, only making out the flow. Now they are big yellow and in your face. Taking your face and your number plate. They call it Average Speed monitoring, but with face recognition it will do more than nick speeders.

    It's a good job the police never use Photo Shop to fake evidence. Especially if their evidence trumps your own evidence under the law.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    I work for a CCTV company, the majority of CCTV cameras in the UK merely overlook public space covering private land.

    However this footage is kept private and is only released to the police should an illegal activity be captured, otherwise the data is destroyed after 30 days.

    It is impossible for the police or government to track or monitor an individual using these systems, they may request footage from an area should they be looking for an individual, or request footage be watched in order to find them, but they would need to know this person was in the area first, and this would take anything from a few hours to days depending on how badly those piggys want it, and how vague they are.

    we are watching you, and for gods sake, stop having sex on industrial estates, we will only wait until the worst moment to make you aware your being filmed!!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    "Any perception on the part of the public that there is some kind of Orwellian infrastructure sitting behind society where these cameras are terribly well integrated and joined up as part of the surveillance state is entirely wrong."

    so he claims that the public is wrong and they have nothing to fear from the current non-Orwellian cctv system...

    ..then brings out the plans for the Orwellian cctv system

  4. dervheid
    Black Helicopters

    "Indispensable investigative tool"

    "Any perception on the part of the public that there is some kind of Orwellian infrastructure sitting behind society where these cameras are terribly well integrated and joined up as part of the surveillance state is entirely wrong."

    But if you give us all your camera data....

  5. Andre Carneiro
    Thumb Down


    So what the ACPO say is "It's not an Orwellian State..... yet. But let's change that, shall we?"

    I'm not impressed.

  6. Julian Bond
    Paris Hilton


    If the Gummint required that all CCTV cameras were also webcams, then there'd be no problem with the Police having access. They'd have as much access as anyone else. And since the Cuncil CCTV is paid for with the public's money it seems entirely right that we should have access to them as well.

    Paris, because she's hoping to be caught on camera.

  7. Eden

    Fine with cctv

    Maybe it's me being beaten down and I'm wrong but when my last bike was stolen and the police refused to come out because I couldn't describe the vehcile despite tellign them exactly where it was headed (The A5 motorway with very few places to hide a big van with a bike on the back of it) heading North I've seriously considered getting CCTV for my own home,

    If the police/council had a CCTV camera monitoring the street or at least entrace/exit to the residential area they would of had something to go on and responded.

    So I'd be happy to see it, but then maybe I'm jaded and am falling into the sacraficing freedom for security?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    He wants access because

    then there will be more plods sitting in the office and not out on the dangerous streets. More forms can be filled in and then those plods can be replaced by cheaper civilian clerks / clerical assistants and so easy his budget.

  9. David Ball

    CCTV cameras are good

    I'm all for CCTV cameras and would actually not mind if the entire country was covered by CCTV.

    I was mugged a week ago and I wish there had been a CCTV camera on the road just so that the police could catch those thieving scumbags.

  10. Slaine
    Black Helicopters

    officially denied in, NEVER believe ANYTHING until it has been OFFICIALLY DENIED. Mines the one bristling with survailence cameras.

  11. Gordon

    Quit customer its so custard?

    Or something.....

    I don't doubt the figures in the millions are overstated. If you take the number on one street that has been crammed with cameras to deal with certain problems in that specific area and them multiply that by the number of high streets in the UK - it's going to be pretty horrendous. If you took the high-street of the little town I live in and did the same exersize there you might conclude there are NO cameras at all in the UK.

    However I don't think that the problems in the UK are going to be solved by making sure someone is watching 24/7. They are far-more deep rooted than this. CCTV is quite effective at speading problems around, though, people move outside of the town-centers to commit serious crime and when they're pissed up and looking for a barney - they don't stop to think if they're on candid camera.

    My theory is that ALL CCTV cameras covering a public area ought to be published on a website somewhere, or available to watch in a nearby public building. Then people might trust them a bit more, as the watchers would know someone was watching them......

  12. Anonymous Coward

    hidden in plain sight


    "Police forces are seeking electronic transfers of data from local authority cameras to police forces"


    "Any perception on the part of the public that there is some kind of Orwellian infrastructure sitting behind society where these cameras are terribly well integrated and joined up as part of the surveillance state is entirely wrong."


    "but we want to build one !"

  13. duncan

    Irony bypass

    On the one hand he says "Any perception on the part of the public that there is some kind of Orwellian infrastructure sitting behind society where these cameras are terribly well integrated and joined up as part of the surveillance state is entirely wrong." Then he basically asks for that Orwellian infrastructure to be setup.

    Then he downplays a study on the number of CCTV cameras in the UK because it was only extrapolated from Putney High St. Then he suggests that CCTV is as important as DNA and fingerprinting, yet that also comes from a small study that's probably statistically insignificant.

    All without any apparent irony.

  14. Danny Silver badge

    CCTV ineffectual against crime

    Better street lighting deters more crime than CCTV.

    British Study Says CCTV Cameras Don't Deter Crime - AP

    "An estimated 4.2 million cameras now observe the country's 60 million people going about their everyday business, from getting on a bus to lining up at the bank to driving around London. It's widely estimated that the average Briton is scrutinized by 300 cameras a day. For the Home Office-funded study, academics from the University of Leicester studied 14 closed-circuit TV systems in a variety of settings, including town centers, parking lots, hospitals and residential areas. Only the parking lot scheme was shown to cause a fall in crime. Previous studies of the effectiveness of CCTVs have come to similar conclusions. "

    The crime reduction claims being made by CCTV proponents are not convincing. Three recent criminological reports (Home Office, Scottish Office and Southbank University) have discredited the conventional wisdom about the cameras effectiveness. In a report to the Scottish Office on the impact of CCTV, Jason Ditton, Director of the Scottish Centre for Criminology, argued that the claims of crime reduction are little more than fantasy. "All (evaluations and statistics) we have seen so far are wholly unreliable", The British Journal of Criminology described the statistics as " hoc shoestring efforts by the untrained and self interested practitioner." In short, the crime statistics are without credibility.[347]=x-347-61925&als[theme]=Video%20Surveillance&headline=CCTV%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions#3

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. dervheid

    @ David Ball

    Sorry to hear about your misfortune.(no sarcasm, really.)


    Had the incident been covered by CCTV, unless you were seriously injured/assaulted and required hospitalisation, and the CCTV images were of unusually high quality, I think it's highly unlikely that it would have made any difference along the lines of "so that the police could catch those thieving scumbags".

    You'd be more likely to appear on one of the multifarious 'Look how much crime is captured by CCTV' type TV programmes being used to scare the living crap out of the "sheeple", as Waylon Sothcott so wonderfully sums up the GBP.

  17. bobbles31

    @David Ball

    "I was mugged a week ago and I wish there had been a CCTV camera on the road just so that the police could catch those thieving scumbags."

    Wouldn't you rather have not been mugged? After all, if you had been filmed, you would still have been mugged, only there would be a convinient recording of the incident for us all to enjoy on police camera action..

    Alternatively, you could lobby for more beat bobbies and policies that actually tackle crime rather than simply recording it to help with the buearocratic bit that happens after the fact.

    Or am I just being overly cynical?

  18. Mark Roome

    I for one

    welcome our CCTV spying controlling lying Orwellian overlords.

    (Thankfully I don't live there)

  19. leslie


    How would i provide a feed from the camera in the taxi..........

    I have a simple sticker, and a simple recorder, funny how no one tries to run off without paying anymore...

  20. scott


    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I want to see every cop and plastic plod (Blunketts bobbies) with “always on” bodycams/headcams/helmetcams ; especially now more and more are turning into weaponized enforcement/compliance platforms. CS Spray, batons, tazers, firearms, body armour – all topped off with a “you *will* do what your told, peon - don’t question my authoritehhh” attitude.

    As for CCTV; compared to anywhere else in Europe – the place does feel like “Her Maj’s Open Prison, Britian.”

    Not that I’m really for CCTV, but if nothing else – CCTV has shown the cobwebbed old cronies in the courts what “assault” actually looks like. It’s not the rolled up sleeved gentlemanly fisticuffs they seemed to think it was a few years ago, but feral and vicious – and *never* a “square go” one on one, but usually 4 or 5 against one, and continuing with kicks to/jumping on the heads of unconscious victims.

  21. Solomon Grundy

    @CCTV cameras are good & Peter

    David, if CCTV is good, guns are better, at least you can defend yourself.

    Peter - you are right that cameras don't prevent crime, very few laws prevent crime, laws punish those who have committed crimes.

  22. Wayland Sothcott

    @bobbles31 - Bobbies on the beat

    I have a theory which has been touched upon by others on this thread.

    1. Government goal - more police powers.

    2. Method - get the police and public to demand the powers

    3. Strategy - keep the police busy indoors so the street crime builds up.

    I have spoken to some very ordinary people with some very violent and extreme views. They have told me the police don't ever do anything but someone should beat the living shit out of hoodies (hood and hat hides face from cameras). They realise that they don't have the power but think the police should be given more power.

    The people with the violent answers to street crime are victims of the crime or know victims. They don't see the bigger picture.

    I was talking to one person who attended a parish council meeting about crime, the police were invited but failed to attend. Which aparently is typical. One of the parishoners spotted the police sitting in their car operating a speed trap on the edge of the village.

  23. michael

    I for one

    welcome out "non" orwelien CCTV viewing overloards

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @Wayland Sothcott

    I have a better theory, like most things, it comes down to the three "I"s

    Ignorance, Incompetence and Idleness (Government is incompetent, not a lot more needs saying on this. The ACPO is showing a major level of Ignorance on communicating with public, and they all seem far to idle to validate the stupid crime stats bear any resemblance to reality)

    These three "I"s go much further to explaining anything – than believing any fairy tales about the HMG having a plan ;)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    You think so?

    >It is impossible for the police or government to track or monitor an individual using >these systems

    At the moment, maybe but....

    >Peter Neyroud, chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency, said >his organisation was working on facial recognition technology which will use the >output of cameras, through the Facial Images National Database programme.

    So with enhancement a and realtime tracking, yes it will be possible.

  26. David Pollard
    Thumb Up


    "It doesn't PREVENT crime..."

    Quite. Increasingly hi-tech 'cops and robbers' may well make arrests/prosecutions for a proportion of offences easier. It may or may not be a deterrent; and deterrence isn't of itself sufficient to prevent crime. This is the difficult bit.

    To refrain from a criminal action 'because it's wrong' isn't the same as not doing it for fear of being caught. Thorny questions of morality are involved, and many of these involve accountability. If the government isn't to be accountable for its actions, why should the people want to be?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cannot seem to find

    this guys cams filming his house over the net. If he has nothing to hide then what is he fearing?

    How about a cam put up near all police training academies, just on the entrance. That way the public could be further assured they were actually speaking to a member of the police force and not someone dressed up to look like them ala Real Hustle style. If they have nothing to hide then where are those cams?

    How about some cams in the smoking rooms of the Houses of Parliament, nice to know what is going on in there.

    I am sure Peeping Tom was meant as a hero figure, maybe we should now label it as Peeping Nick Garvan, to honour the new one.

  28. Beachhutman

    a plan

    to really reduce crime would be to put CCTV cameras in police stations and broadcast outside the pictures of cops doing nothing very much except sending out camera speed tickets, filling in forms to prosecute homeowners who've been burgled, assembling evidence against the victims of crime, or working out new ways NOT to go after burglars, muggers and hoods.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    1984 or Animal Farm?

    "...At this moment, all of the pigs leave the farmhouse in single file, all upright on two legs. Finally, Napoleon emerges from the farmhouse, upright and carrying a whip..."

    'Nuff said.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    What next?

    Police telling judges how to impose sentences

    Now asking for CCTV footage. Generally, trying to get the media to talk about how dangerous it is out there...

    It's not for our safety, it's for their numbers. And to make us afraid so we say yes to their agenda.

    How about (really) preventing crime?

  31. Columbus

    Northampton - Big Brother is already here

    Try visiting sunny Northampton ,where Northants Police share "St Johns" control centre with Northants Borough Council, all 500+ cameras of it.

    Amongst the technical delights are Walk And Face recognition, from Aurora technologies. There is a fully integrated ANPR ( Automatic Number Plate Recognition) with DVLA and insurance realtime access to 'deny criminals the use of the road'. It is so good that it is used as a showcase to such champions of liberty the CIA and FBI.. ( kudos to PA Consulting for reporting that)

    The interesting thing is neither the Police or the Council admit to being data controllers of all this wonderful information- so who is?

    Alan Moore would be so proud.

    Mines the the black cape with the matching Guy Fawkes mask

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