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General => Crime & policing => Topic started by: mg on April 25, 2012, 09:58:22 PM

Title: CCTV / webcams
Post by: mg on April 25, 2012, 09:58:22 PM
Why do we not have CCTV in the village (I am assuming it is funding based ......)  as we have had quite a lot of serious crime acts (the jewellers, the post office, the old off licence, the cash till from the Ironing shop that I can bring to mind).  Also many acts of petty theft and criminal damage.

I think that the village would be much better protected if we did have them.  

Title: Re: Crime Tweets
Post by: Admin on April 25, 2012, 11:11:50 PM
CCTV:  Second time this question has crossed my screen this week.

You're not the only one, and indeed I tried to get the police to organise one or two a few years ago, and what I learned was:

- for the police or council, or any authority a CCTV camera is a surveillance device and can be mounted only by a public authority or on public property within the legal criteria of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which requires a case to be made that a camera at a given location is 'reasonable, necessary and proportionate' to the problem.  That means backing it up with specific statistics of significant crime at a given spot.
- then there is the question of monitoring: real-time monitoring is labour-intensive only judged to be worthwhile if there are frequent incidents, places with large concentrations of people at certain times e.g. a busy town centre on a Friday night etc.  Otherwise recorded monitoring is clearly of some use in investigations following a crime.
- and civil liberties questions: the national mood seems to have swung against surveillance cameras

Turning to private CCTV cameras mounted by individuals on their own property (which might include public areas in their field of view), my understanding is that these are subject only to laws on privacy i.e. if you aim one from across the road at a neighbour's bedroom you could be the wrong side of the law; if you have one focused on your garage or the front or back garden you are perfectly entitled.

The police of course make use of such private CCTV on buildings or shops/offices retrospectively when a crime has been committed and a tape might give a clue; but it is a different matter for them to mount one themselves.

My first enquirer is going to run with the possibility of individual residents installing webcams to feed to this site.  It will take some looking into.  Anyone with experience of webcams? -  please get in touch.

Because of the civil liberties angle, any organised proposal would really have to be canvassed across all those legit villagers likely to use an area.  When a bit more research is done by said enquirer, we can start a new thread in here to get people's ideas/views.

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: andy on May 20, 2012, 09:21:27 PM
MG, please can you elaborate on 'serious crime acts' as i'm new to the area so would be good to educate myself what happens round here, cant be as bad as central london!

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: mg on May 21, 2012, 10:47:11 PM
Noooooooooooooo certainly not inner city crime levels.  I am only going on memory here, but the old off licence was held up, at least twice I think.  The jewellers was held up by a gun toting group (I seem to remember) (I have a feeling they came back more than once), the post office has been held up (no gun this time I think), the ironing shop had its till stolen, the newsagent on Summer Road has been held up (no gun, can't remember if they were knife threats) at least three times (I think), the old HSBC bank was held up a few times before they closed it.  

Sorry these are so vague, especially in relation to the type of robbery they were.  I am just going on memory, so I would be very happy to be corrected.  It always seemed to me to be a disproportional amount of shop crime, in relation to the size of the village.  That's why I wondered if not having CCTV was a factor.  

Don't forget that these crimes were over a period of years and I don't want to give the impression that Thames Ditton is anything but a lovely place to live, because it really is a great place to live.

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: Admin on May 22, 2012, 09:12:56 AM
If you visit our resources-->links page and look for crime and policing there's a link to crime statistics for the area.  

You can get stats for areas  of the UK here:

Trends are here:

If you are going to give weight to anecdotal evidence then from memory there have been similar incidents as those mg mentions in Molesey, Cobham; Walton is worse; Kingston much worse.  If you make the effort to attend neighbourhood police panels, you will hear our neighbourhood police recounting crimes over the previous quarter and frankly they are very rarely serious ones.  We are getting down to stolen milk bottles there: to add a personal perspective, we have had one milk bottle nicked; one small piece of fence kicked in; and our garage at rear robbed once, over a period of twenty years.

For the criteria to get CCTV installed see my last post above:  (a) the statistical case has to be made and (b) monitoring CCTV in real time is prohibitively labour-intensive otherwise it is usually of use only retrospectively.  Cameras (or dummy cameras...) might act as a disincentive - for criminals in the area of that camera, who would probably go to another location.  In short, there has to be a cast-iron case that there are incidents frequent enough for a camera in a specific location to be worth while.

That's for official cameras.  For private CCTV or private webcams the criteria are more flexible - so far.

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: mg on May 22, 2012, 04:37:40 PM
Obviously, I only really absorb the criminal activity that relates to my home village, because it is very important to me.  I do actually think that the crimes that I can remember (and my memory is not quite as bad as I pretend that it is) are fairly serious and certain a great deal more serious to the residents and shop keepers of Thames Ditton than a stolen milk bottle!!  I would not remember a stolen milk bottle, but I sure can remember incidents relating to gangs with a gun and incidents involving people with knives!!!

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: Admin on October 03, 2012, 11:25:47 AM
"CCTV systems capable of identifying and tracking a person's face from half a mile away are turning Britain into a Big Brother society, the UK's first surveillance commissioner has warned.

New high-definition cameras are being rolled out across UK cities without public consultation into the intrusion they pose, Andrew Rennison told The Independent.

The increasing sophistication of surveillance technology is becoming so serious that Britain may be in breach of its own human rights laws, he said. There are already thought to be around 1.85 million CCTV cameras in the UK.

In a stark message to police forces and the Government, Mr Rennison predicted there will be a justifiable public outcry if facial recognition systems and HD cameras are allowed to proliferate on high streets, public transport and at entertainment venues. "The technology has overtaken our ability to regulate it," he said."

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: craigvmax on October 03, 2012, 01:29:57 PM
tbh, I'd happily give up those human rights if the use of these reduces crime and terrorism.

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: Juninho on October 03, 2012, 02:28:27 PM
I have to agree.

Whilst I understand and appreciate peoples reservations of a potentially overly policed state (having grown up in a place where we had to hide our TV in case we got raided as TV's were not allowed!) - I often think the 'breaking of human rights' by having too much cctv is overstated and the impact to our privacy is not as bad as people make out.

I would even say that by having MORE cctv our privacy is preserved (weird though that may sound) - as the sheer volume of cctv to review would mean only an event/incident worth investigation would be given the resources to scan through the footage.

Ok this is more about facial recognition - but having tried to understand how some of these algorithims work I can assure you we are a long way away from what we see on tv where computers can find someone in seconds on their face alone!!! The article claims a 90% success rate? Interesting that... !

Finally I have to say I find it a little amusing (and somewhat ironic) how people seem to use the internet especially sites like twitter and facebook -> to 'protest' about having less privacy in this day and age !

Quote from: craigvmax on October 03, 2012, 01:29:57 PM
tbh, I'd happily give up those human rights if the use of these reduces crime and terrorism.

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: craigvmax on October 03, 2012, 02:42:18 PM
yup agreed, the amount of personal information people put particularly on fb is shocking (I have been guilty of this in the past too)

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: mg on October 04, 2012, 05:33:33 PM
I think CCTV can only be a bad thing if you are doing something that is against the law.  If it is only police organisations that have access to the  CCTV recordings  they, and only they, can use them when a crime is reported.    Innocent people being recorded on the CCTV would have nothing to worry about and the guilty people would be caught.

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: Ratty on October 04, 2012, 10:00:23 PM
I think the problem is that quality outdoor CCTV is expensive to install, maintain and monitor. As a result it tends to operate in tandem with revenue generating mechanisms such as fines.
On the two occasions when I have been the suffered a crime the CCTV footage has been next to useless - particularly as far as the police are concerned.

Title: Re: CCTV / webcams
Post by: craigvmax on October 04, 2012, 10:19:54 PM
Yup, know what you mean.

In 2007 a girl in a petrol station reversed into my 911 in a petrol station on Kings road. In doing so she knocked me over too as I was behind the car putting oil in it.

She got out, argued very abusively ( think Jeremy Kyle candidate) that she hadn't done it, then sped off.

I had pictures and it was all on CCTV.

After filling in a lengthy report at the police station and then having to pursue the police for weeks with nothing done, I even went  very high up the chain with superiors and my mp, they refused to investigate or even bother to collect the CCTV footage (which the garage kept but wouldn't give me).

I tried everything but it was futile. 

Absurd situation

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