Sunday, September 30, 2007

Crime in the U.K.

Despite the British tyrannical gun ban and the tens of thousands of big brother spy cameras eighty percent of the crime in the U.K goes unsolved

By de Andréa

Most images are not as helpful as this one of a pickpocket on Oxford Street

Most CCTV cameras are 'illegal', watchdog claims

London has over 10,000 crime-fighting CCTV cameras that cost over £200 million.

However, an analysis of the private and publicly funded spy network, which is owned and controlled by local authorities and Transport for London, has cast doubt on its ability to help solve crime.

A comparison of the number of cameras in each London borough with the proportion of crimes solved, they found that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any.

In fact, four out of five of the boroughs with the most cameras have a record of solving crime that is below average.

Sounds like more big brother, more crime. I think it is fairly obvious that the U.K., like the U.S. District of Columbia, has a police problem, not a gun problem.

The Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly obtained the following figures using the Freedom of Information Act.

The figures show:
• There are now 10,524 CCTV cameras in 32 London boroughs funded with Home Office grants totaling about £200 million.

• Hackney has the most cameras - 1,484 - and has a better-than-average clearup rate of 22.2 per cent.

• Wandsworth has 993 cameras, Tower Hamlets, 824, Greenwich, 747 and Lewisham 730, but police in all four boroughs fail to reach the average 21 per cent crime clear-up rate for London.
• By contrast, boroughs such as Kensington and Chelsea, Sutton and Waltham Forest have fewer than 100 cameras each yet they still have clear-up rates of around 20 per cent.

• Police in Sutton have one of the highest clear-ups with 25 per cent.

• Brent police have the highest clear-up rate, with 25.9 per cent of crimes solved in 2006-07, even though the borough has only 164 cameras.

The figures appear to confirm earlier studies, which have thrown doubt on the effectiveness of CCTV cameras.

A report by the criminal justice charity Nacro in 2002 concluded that the money spent on cameras would be better used on street lighting, which has been shown to cut crime by up to 20 per cent.

Scotland Yard is trying to improve its track record on the use of CCTV and has set up a special unit which collects and circulates CCTV images of criminals.

It looks as though the bureaucracy has this inherent problem of; "if a lot doesn’t work, maybe we should get a lot more." It seems to apply to gun laws as well. I think law enforcement is just trying to take the easy road that leads nowhere, it may even be counterproductive.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It would seem a little more appropriate to me, if law enforcement agencies would spend just a little more time doing some old fashion detective work and caching the bad guys, then playing with these high tech toys as well as disarming the public leaving them defenseless.

But then, what do I know…
I live in a county in the U.S. where everybody can carry a gun and there are no cameras, as a result, we have the lowest violent crime rate in the state and as a CCW permit holder myself, I am always armed. We are what is called personally responsible citizens.

Oh! I forgot, responsible is a bad politically incorrect word, I am so pre-sixties, Sorry…

de Andréa

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