London’s Metropolitan Police Service has released a statement with some statistics supporting the use of CCTV:
2512 wanted people, including suspected murderers and rapists have been successfully identified by the Metropolitan Police Service using CCTV this year.
In 2010 specialist teams of video ID investigators identified 574 robbery suspects, 427 people wanted for burglary, 199 for grievous bodily harm, and 23 suspected sex offenders. The overall figure marks a 25% increase on 2009.
MPS Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, who co-ordinates the Met’s video ID (VIIDO) teams said: “We’ve had great success with CCTV this year. These are people who often would have fled the scene and potentially got away with it had it not been for CCTV. It really has, and continues to help us make London a safer place.
“CCTV is important in the fight against crime as it helps to tell us what actually occurred. While DNA or fingerprints will show the suspect being at the scene, CCTV will show the crime happening; helps us find other evidence or witnesses and helps the court when assessing the sentence. Together with DNA and fingerprints, CCTV evidence is a vital forensic tool.
“CCTV is utilised in many other policing matters apart from criminal investigations. For example in missing persons, especially missing children inquiries it’s a vital tool in tracing people: it shows their last movements, it gives officers an indication of where they went and what they were wearing. In many missing people inquiries it’s been extremely useful.”
The majority of CCTV cameras in London are privately owned, usually by businesses, with the remaining cameras belonging to public authorities, such as local councils, road safety partnerships and the police.
While CCTV evidence is often used DCI Neville reassures Londoners that the police will utilise it appropriately: “It’s right that our use of CCTV is checked and subject to strict guidelines and protocols. We only use it to catch criminals, find missing people and to keep London safe. We don’t wish to breach the privacy or rights of people going about their lawful everyday business.”
DCI Neville added: “While a large number of suspects have been successfully identified this year – many with the assistance of the public – there are people who the Met still want to trace. We’re really grateful to the public who’ve helped us identify many wanted people and I’d urge them to visit our caught on camera website to help us identify even more.”
The Met’s Caught on Camera pages contain suspects wanted for various offences throughout London and is regularly updated. Visit the Caught on Camera internet site for further information.
Anyone who can help identify these or any other suspects is urged to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency always dial 999.
So CCTV hasn’t prevented any terrorist acts and its use in terrorism is all after-the-fact to identify suspects? Wasn’t a lot of the justification for these cameras based on terrorist threat?