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back to article Police tech agency rewinds on smartphone CCTV

The organisation responsible for guiding the police on their use of technology has downplayed reports that its chief executive reckons cops would be using smartphones to check fingerprints and CCTV footage by 2012. The chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) reportedly told journalists in the House of …

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Coat

Of course if they are taking your details

and your mate nearby, who hasnt been searched, has one of those pocket GSM jammers, is an arrest on the grounds of "my pda isn't working, so I have to take you to the station to prove you're not wanted for anything" going to look good in front of the magistrate?

Mine's the cloak.

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Anonymous Coward

Last Enemy, anyone?

Every day another story pops up that makes me want to leave, live somewhere that doesn't look like a sci-fi dystopia. Not because I have anything to hide, just because it feels like we are no longer sleepwalking into a surveillance society, we are charging headlong into it, and that degree of control-freakery has historically only been a characteristic of really nasty authoritarian regimes. The people who are getting empowered by all this tech are "Public Servants" - but they're making me feel like they're my masters.

Posted anon while I still can.

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Paris Hilton

Dear NPIA

National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) to imporve policing - put more plods on the street.

Simple

AC because I'd be daft to publish my real name on this one.

Paris Because

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Black Helicopters

Uh huh

Okay, so PNC access, that's actually pretty straight forward, although PNC is old and slow and unlikely to be able to cope in it's current form with the extra load. More likely that each force would implement access to it's own local intelligence database and mug shots therein.

The access CCTV doesn't suggest a massive increase in the number of cameras as suggested, nor necessarily a hookup to most privately owned cameras.

Here in Sheffield the council jointly operate with the police force a network of cameras covering the city centre. Operators monitor the cameras for disturbances and when something happens the police are directed to the scene by these operators, for example when there's an assault and one party walks away they are tracked continuously from camera to camera until an officer reaches them. I can't honestly see what advantage linking a blackberry to this network would serve, although the ability to quickly send a still might (in a very few occasions when a close up has useful detail) be of some use.

Finally, taking fingerprints via blackberry is just someones lack of understanding talking. They can take low resolution stills if equipped with a camera, there's no suggestion or capability that they can scan a finger in such a way that it could be compared with the fingerprint database, this is just a pipe dream.

Being able to check someones name and address could be a pretty useful function, at the moment they have to radio in and have an operator check it, which is often too time consuming to be worth doing if it's a random or speculative stop&search.

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Anonymous Coward

Arghhh

Please can we add CCTV to the list of words only to be used under special circumstances - in this case, when actually talking about CCTV would be nice.

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Silver badge
Alien

And who to get into bed with ....:-)

"It's now down to the Association to decide how to do it. " ....... Do what the Government should do. Bring in Expert SubContractors at Communications Networks InterNetworking

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Black Helicopters

@Steve

The Sheffield CCTV Police / Council operators did trial a system sending the stills from the CCTV to Police officers equiped with XDA PDA's. I think it was more of a publicity stunt than anything. The bigest problem was that they weren't using a blackberry type Push mail system so the police had to manually check their email

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Time to effectively use existing 'deterrents'

Enough crying about the 'surveillance society' - in some cases we're already there and it could be used to make our towns a safer place, rather than an empty threat.

For example, our town centre boasts '100% CCTV coverage' within the town's ring road. However, as it's not used effectively it doesn't prove much of a deterrent.

If everything was hooked up to a computer and people's positions were tracked then in the event of an assault/robbery police could use their PDAs to quickly pull up a map and track people who were in the area at the time but are now fleeing, then apprehend the possibly suspects and [hoodies permitting] check their face against a still taken from the footage and detain them on the spot. If this was a realistic risk for would-be criminals then I would imagine it would make our streets a safer place.

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Flame

@Alex Hawdon

So, to clarify, you think that because your local authority are not competent to operate the surveillance system that they already have, they should therefore install a much bigger, more invasive, and much much more expensive one ?

I fell off my push bike. Should I therefore be given a Ferrari ?

Perhaps your LA needs to look at it's existing processes before it starts writing blank checks to security equipment manufacturers.

Or perhaps it's just that putting people under 24/7 surveillance doesn't actually have that much of a deterrent effect, full stop. Watched much Big Brother ?

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clarification...

Possibly a poor choice of words...

I meant to imply that the back-end systems and processes are not as effective as they might be. For the same 'loss of privacy' (i.e. the same number of cameras) we could have a much more effective criminal deterrent through using technology to leverage our existing investment...

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