Sunday, 10 December 2017

CCTV and crime in Sidmouth

The Chinese government is investing heavily in CCTV technologies, as this video report from the BBC notes:

In Your Face: China’s all-seeing state

10 Dec 2017 
Producer: Joyce Liu. Camera: Wang Xiqing. 

China has been building what it calls "the world's biggest camera surveillance network". Across the country, 170 million CCTV cameras are already in place and an estimated 400 million new ones will be installed in the next three years.

Many of the cameras are fitted with artificial intelligence, including facial recognition technology. The BBC's John Sudworth has been given rare access to one of the new hi-tech police control rooms.

No escaping Big Brother in China - BBC News

Back in 2011, the BBC asked:
Is CCTV creeping too far? - BBC News

But back in 2007, the Mail noted:
UK has 1% of world's population but 20% of its CCTV cameras | Daily Mail Online

The Sun calls it the 'Truman effect':

Average Brit caught on CCTV 70 times a day - as it's revealed UK is watched by more cameras than the whole of China

The technology is getting a lot smarter:

One nation under CCTV:
the future of automated surveillance

Monday 17 August 2015

The UK is one of the most surveilled nations in the world. An estimated 5.9 million CCTV cameras keep watch over our every move, but the volume of footage creates a problem: when the police or security services need to actually analyse it, things move very slowly. Despite the proliferation of CCTV, technology for handling the petabytes of data collected is still little more than human eyeballs and lots of patience.

That might be about to change. New technology could allow police and security services to quickly analyse CCTV footage to look for movement, faces and track suspects across the world. By linking 'dumb' CCTV cameras to a 'smart' online system, authorities will soon be able to find and track anyone. Trials of the technology with two UK police forces could begin in October.

One nation under CCTV: the future of automated surveillance | WIRED UK

There are some who are not happy about this:

The UK is the most spied upon nation in the world - why doesn't it have the lowest crime rate?
Whatever happened to the UK's common law value of 'innocent until proven guilty'?
Research shows that CCTV simply does not work, so isn't it just a huge waste of money?
Why do the media, police and government portray CCTV as an effective tool?
Why has there been no public debate?

A year ago, a bid was launched for funding for more CCTV cameras on the High Street of Sidmouth:

Although not everyone was up for it:

It's a debate which has been happening for some time in the Sid Valley:

More important might be more police on the ground:
Futures Forum: An uncertain future for policing in Sidmouth and Devon
Futures Forum: An uncertain future for policing in East Devon: "the proposed cuts for the police service would severely impact on Police Community Support Officers and other front line staff must be resisted."

'Demand' for CCTV is linked to public perceptions of crime:
CCTV: public perception versus the research - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Britons embrace CCTV cameras - Telegraph

But as one observer has pointed out:

Sidmouth has the lowest figures of actual crime, 
but the highest fear of crime anywhere in the UK.

Streetlife | CCTV in Sidmouth
Streelife users have mixed views on Sidmouth CCTV scheme - Latest Sidmouth and Ottery News - Sidmouth Herald

Here's an earlier blog entry which looked at the issues:
Futures Forum: CCTV 'to catch criminals and protect vulnerable citizens' ... And yet, 'Sidmouth has the lowest figures of actual crime, but the highest fear of crime anywhere in the UK.'

And another which looked at where this fear of crime comes from:

Why is there this disconnect between crime figures and the perception of crime?


The Mean World Syndrome -- Clip - YouTube
Mean world syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Futures Forum: Crime in Sidmouth: ‘we've kept a lid on it’

Finally, here are a few statistics:
Crime map for Sidmouth, Devon & Cornwall Police - Police.uk
Detailed statistics for Sidmouth, Devon & Cornwall Police - Police.uk

Although perhaps we need more speed cameras rather than CCTV:
New safety measures needed to 'stop people dying' on the A3052 near Sidmouth - Devon Live

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