Local authority spend on CCTV may be nearing the £500m mark according to The Cost of CCTV, a report by Big Brother Watch, published today. The report reveals the results of surveys carried out across Britain, and collates FOI responses from some 336 of the country’s 418 local authorities. The actual figure, from those who …
I may not have the whole picture but . .
. . to the best of my knowlege the council I work for has CCTV but it is all used for securing office buildings. This report presents a (possible) image of a 'surveillance society' but does it separate out the costs fo providing levels of security that many businesses would consider a basic necessityy?
I'm not saying there aren't too many CCTVs I'm just questioning whether this report is (blush) being used to inflame opinions.
"the UK spends more per head on CCTV coverage than 38 countries do on defence"
A miserly figure cut back to the bone when you consider who is the greatest threat to the prosperity of members of parliament. I would go into greater detail but I am busy looking for ways to inflate the price of a broken AI that is supposed to identify when a thought-^W crime is being committed on camera.
Might as well put up dummy cameras for crime prevention
Revenue raising snoops, as you were.
Worth every penny!
Well they obviously work wonders for that expense, the crime rates have dropped to next to nothing haven't they?!
No need for cameras, as sooner or later we will be fitted with probes at birth to record our thoughts and report back to a central hub.
If so much money needs to be spent on securing buildings, materials & locations then maybe fewer and less is indicated rather than spend more on ineffective CCTV. Especially given that many of the images are inadequate for legal purposes and the cameras may not be working.
As noted in the article, the capital cost is large but the maintenance cost is also large. It is just the same as 'Street Furniture' How many posts do you see going up along road sides with signs on them when there is a perfectly servicable post adjacent? Each post costs hundreds of pounds to install, document and maintain. It is then on the asset list to be accounted for...
Many, and this goes for CCTV as well, are a complete waste of time, add nothing to anything other than visual pollution and become obsolete and an eyesore in doubt quick time...
It is just too easy for Public Officers to convince the elected representatives to spend taxpayer cash. If you don't spend the budget you wont get it next year... So let's spend it on .....
Costs per capita would be useful;
IIRC Birmingham is the largest council in the country in terms of population (because it's all one council, unlike Greater London for example which has over 30 boroughs) so I'm not surprised it should top the list for total spending.
Giving us a cost per head of population would be far more useful. I present a few for your delectation below (in order of *total* spending):
How many plods on the beat would that buy?
Seriously, I would be interesting in knowing?
It's all there
Try reading the article. It tells you.
CCTV solves many problems
Like when a council wants to provide recycling bins, but wishes to avoid the expense of actually having to empty them.
Simple, leave them to fill up, then when someone does the sensible thing and piles their empties up neatly by the full skip, use CCTV to prosecute them for fly tipping. People soon loose interest in recycling, and the council can carry on saying "we provide the facilities but nobody uses them".
Who watches the watchers?
As seen on the 4 part video 'The Shy Machine' by cveitch (http://www.cveitch.org/):
Not surprising that Birmingham is top of the list considering it's massive CCTV operation that it put in place to monitor the Muslim population (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/17/birmingham-stops-muslim-surveillance-scheme)
Snail mail address please...
For the counselling bill, having just googled BBW camera watch...
I thought England repelled Hitlers invasion attempts?
but alas I see the complete invasion of England is nearly complete.
"We have nothing fear but fear itself" (Unless you sell video surveillance)
Being in 'the business" so to speak, the cost of maintaining CCTV systems is rather high.
Cameras fail for many reasons, not the least of which is environmental and since these cameras are outside, unavoidable. Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) cameras have many moving parts and they are prone to jamming due to spiders, frozen condensation, water incursion, heat, power quality issues etc etc. Figure about $4,000 per PTZ camera for replacement here in the US, probably much more in the UK. Even with "vandal resistant" housings, your "yoofs" will have tossed a few dozen beer bottle, bricks, rock etc at every camera in your area over the course of a few years and they don't make cameras resistant to "yoof" damage.
Our "yahoos" here would rather shoot at them so I guess you may have an advantage in the UK.
Under law of planned obsolescence, most cameras are obsolete in just a few years and the model number and price will have changed in 3 years.
If the system is an IP camera system, the network will inevitably go titsup at one time or another so that requires a lot of technical support to fix. Our rates are $ 140/hr but yours will be higher, I'm sure.
Have you ever priced a professional grade DVR or NVR? You think the server guys charge a lot? Just think about 15 to 20 TB raid arrays and a proprietary front end. NOT cheap.
This doesn't even cover the real costs, which are manpower. None of this video will do a thing for security UNLESS someone can actually LOOK AT IT IN REAL TIME! How many channels of TV can YOU watch at one time? Oh, you can't hire enough people? Then you need the system to have software that will look for specific events and send those to the monitoring station(s). More money, more F.U.D., Ad Infinitum.
Me, I hate big brother and want to get away from this stuff. Good Luck Folks, you'll need it.
Comes down to choice, innit?
Would you rather hire more overlong photographer-arresting beat plod or more peepin' rent-a-plod and buy him the spendy kit to peep with?
Haven't read the report but it'd be good to follow it up with an as-honest-as-possible comparison between the benefits of CCTV and that of hiring more plod and of doing nothing but spending the money on other things, or even *gasp* not spending it at all but lowering council taxes instead. As honest councilmen only want what's best for the people of the council, it's only fair to give them a honest choice, innit?
Have you ever noticed
... that when Mr Plod publishes a CCTV image to help trace a suspect, it's from a shopkeeper's CCTV system? The reason is, it takes so long to search through the public CCTV data that Mr Plod can't do it.
This must be an adequately convincing case for scrapping the public CCTV systems, so freeing up a valuable £8 in taxes for each and every UK resident and, perhaps, sparing us the continued embarrassment of leading the world in spying on ourselves.
I guess they're too busy searching through the high-street CCTV footage for clips to show on those 'funny' camera shows of drunk people acting....drunk, and complete numpties ignoring traffic signs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_Cw0QJU8ro
...because a small system for a corner shop, using latest Far East technology is peanuts compared to the cost of replacing an out of date council system that has low-res images. Alsop, things in small shops usually happen very close to the camera, rathetr than out on the mean streets where a camera might be on a roof. Once we are all seeing latest-generation images, the baddies had better watch out.
So apart from being "shocked"...
What exactly is Alex Deane going to do about it?
Oh right... yes I should have realised. Get some free publicity for his organisation and then slowly fade back into obscurity.
Still, it's worth an ask... Alex, no action points to try to change things then?
I mean, when was the last time someone was attacked by a little green man from mars? So they're obviously working and should not only be kept, but their use expanded!!
Sad squandering of limited public funds
Given the sorry state of council finances across the UK, it is little less than criminal when it comes to installing and maintaining CCTV.
Although the Chinese have done a good job of using their facilities, it requires an enormous amount of manpower to make effective, as well as even more curtailment of civil rights already imposed in the UK.
Compared to most CCTV systems, the Chinese systems are gold plated, not some pickings from a catalogue. Since the State controls prices to a considerable degree, they get the best pricing.
The U.S. has an idea, get the local 'Nosey Parkers' to monitor things using cable channels. Of course monitoring borders is a little less private than looking after your neighbours.
The pointless installation of cameras should cease and only where a use is proven should they in place.
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