August 25, 2009

If Cameras Don't Catch Criminals, They're There 'Cuz – Why Again?

Per the BBC:

Great Britain has spent some £500 million [as of today, nearly $820 million] on surveillance cameras, over a million of which are installed in London.

An internal police report has found that last year, only 1 crime was solved by each 1,000 cameras in London. In one month, the system of cameras helped catch just 8 our 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 camera system] leads to massive expense and minimum effectiveness.

"'It creates a huge intrusion on privacy, yet provides little or no improvement in security.'"

(Thanks, Ben!)

To be fair, a police spokesman added,"[w]e estimate more than 70% of murder investigations have been solved with the help of [camera system] retrievals . . . ." But one could also ask whether even more might have been accomplished if the same funds had been spent on more detectives or other strategies.

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