Re: Crims don't like being on camera
I've worked in schools for nearly 20 years, including one special-measures school who had an assigned police officer who dealt with NOTHING but incidents at the school.
We had cameras in every possible inch - the only exclusion was literally OVER the bathroom stalls, even the bathrooms were monitored. It was HD, 24/7 recording, every square inch.
And I tell you now, most of it is useless. Because everyone knows it's there, they cover up - hoodies and the like. We had kids come back after hours and set fire to things, kick down doors, gangs steal computers, fights in the corridors. Almost every second of it was useless to police and that which was was incidental (i.e. it showed the kid we knew had already done it and could prove every which way anyway).
But for criminal stuff, it's mostly useless. Motor accidents aren't criminal. Nobody hides their number plates or faces "in case" they have an accident. Burglars will. Thieves will. Vandals will.
At home, I have extensive CCTV, including remote monitor (I have a screen in work showing my house cameras, for instance). It's been witness to two crimes - a burglary right next door, and a theft of a van down the road. In both cases it's been a police visit because the neighbours told them about our CCTV and in both cases it's been useless. The burglary, we captured the side of a car scouting the houses minutes before at 2mph (he skipped mine, probably because of the cameras, but we couldn't see the car plate or enough of him to be useful), The van theft, we saw the van drive past, again, same problem.
CCTV is only useful in correlation - the police saw our footage and then knew times (beyond "some time this morning" because I did this for a living, so spent the time to find the guy who robbed my neighbours from HOURS of footage), went up to the shops at the end of the road and requested the same time on their CCTV. Both times, nothing came of it because there was no correlation, no details, no useful evidence, despite a clearly committed crime.
Cameras don't lie, but they are so easily defeated it's laughable. They catch stuff only incidentally and accidentally. And, technically, if your camera looks out onto a public road it could be illegal to point it anywhere useful.
Yes, I still have cameras and use them, but I rely on them for DETECTION, not for catching criminals. If someone breaks in, they will be on my cam in front of my face. I know when the postman knocks, I know when a parcel is lobbed over the back fence. But I don't expect anything to be done by the police on the basis of my footage. I will just call them if I see a burglary in progress and start driving home rather rapidly.
The cameras are there for ME to notice (even on holiday) but probably WON'T identify any culprit, just alert me to something happening. Even with a camera smack-bang in the porch looking at anyone knocking on the door or coming in that way. That one's really there for when the EDF scumbag salesman guy comes back and fraudulently claims to be "from your electricity supplier". Strangely, they don't try that anymore, not with the camera and mic in their face.
I have cameras in the house too - there to watch over the cats when we're away (girlfriend's reasoning) and/or work out when someone's been in the house (my reasoning, whether a burglar or the cat-sitter to see if they actually DID feed them).
CCTV, however, is useless without someone watching it live, following it around, correlating with other cameras, and - generally - the police all tell me that, for the last 20 years, they just don't have the time to do that. They are so grateful that I do the legwork of my end, but they rarely have time to do anything about it, and 99% of the time the footage is useless anyway.
Go live in a dodgy area for a few months and see how far CCTV gets you. "Well, the guy in the black hoodie did it" is useless, and they know that.