CCTV helps bring UK rioters to justice

The last few years have seen a considerable debate as to the increased usage of CCTV surveillance in the UK. Leicester City Council alone uses 2,083 CCTV cameras to monitor the streets and protect the city museums and schools. The council’s Deputy Major has said that the cameras have had a positive impact on reducing crime and are having “a huge impact on people’s feeling of safety”. Some welcome the increased security benefits, some fear for individual privacy and rights. 

The UK riots in the summer of 2011 really brought the issue of CCTV usage into focus and demonstrated the full positive impact of CCTV surveillance on reducing crime and identifying suspects. At the height of the riots Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Foy said “We will have photographs and evidence that we will use to identify you and bring you to justice”. The same day the photographs, taken from CCTV, of the first fifteen suspects were released by the BBC.

CCTV images and footage were used to help identify many offenders guilty of serious crimes during the riots. These included CCTV footage which gave police the make and registration number of a car used to run down two police officers who were chasing rioters in Waltham Forest, North East London. It was CCTV imagery also that was used to identify and convict the attackers of a Malaysian student and CCTV footage that identified a serious gun attack on police and a police helicopter in Birmingham.

The key element in bringing suspects to justice with CCTV footage is the quality of the images obtained. To this end it is important to have a CCTV system installed by a professional and fully qualified, reputable security systems company. The security systems themselves are also vitally important, analogue CCTV images are unlikely to be of sufficient quality to be used as evidence.  The best option to provide high quality images which police can use to obtain a conviction are HD CCTV systems which can be either IP megapixel cameras or HD SDI CCTV.

A CCTV system to adequately protect your home or business may typically consist of four high quality cameras, power supply units and a DVR for remote monitoring and viewing. 

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