NEWS

Camera surveillance works

We’ve only had one case. We did receive information about this young man from the community. Not only was he doing it on the Internet, but his behavior was also pretty bizarre in the real world. It is a threat we will have to examine very closely, finding a solution to self-radicalization. How useful is CCTV surveillance? We believe, and I think that most of the British people believe, that it does prevent crime because thieves, hooligans and the people who are being difficult can actually see the cameras and will go somewhere else, and, by the time they’ve gone somewhere else, the opportunity may no longer exist. Secondly, in investigations such as homicide, they are incredibly useful. We saw this in the July bombings. We traced the bombers back to the north of England, and on July 21 we put the bombers’ photographs on screens around the world. Without that, finding four men in London with no understanding of who they were would have been much more difficult. In terms of the investigation of more routine crimes, going through hundreds of hours of CCTV is a very time-consuming activity, but I believe CCTV surveillance is a good thing. Each society has to decide how they want to do it. The USA, for instance, is particularly reluctant regarding issues of CCTV surveillance. On the other hand, it routinely uses telephone tapping to gather court evidence.