CCTV surveillance: reality versus myth

CCTV surveillance: reality versus myth

Summary: The Queensland city of Ipswich has claimed that its CCTV surveillance systems have reduced crime in monitored areas by 75 per cent. But how does the Ipswich case compare to the costly and arguably less effective public safety cameras in the UK?

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The Queensland city of Ipswich has claimed that its CCTV surveillance systems have reduced crime in monitored areas by 75 per cent. But how does the Ipswich case compare to the costly and arguably less effective public safety cameras in the UK?

It's all about the human factor.

On Patch Monday this week, Stilgherrian speaks with Professor Brian Lovell from NICTA's Queensland Research Lab and discovers that while most face recognition systems are really toys, with the right planning a CCTV system can make a real difference. Not all camera installations are about fighting crime. There's also asset protection and traffic management, with the ability to gather video evidence an added bonus.

And with surveillance now moving from analog TV systems to high-definition video, we're at a cusp. Expect to see new surveillance applications in the coming years.

Patch Monday also has Stilgherrian's random look at the week's IT news, including an update on Microsoft's lawyer-based attack on the Waledac botnet.

To leave an audio comment for Patch Monday, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.

Running time 25 minutes, 39 seconds

Topics: Microsoft, Government AU, Security

About

Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust.

He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.

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2 comments
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  • I have 22 years experience in CCTV system design and can say that a well designed system will reduce crime. However many poeples expectations and budget are not realistic. We (IndigoVision) provide remote off site monitoring of many sites including councils, shopping centres, traffic management and train platforms. We have seen a significant reduction of crime in these areas through the remote operators talking to the camera site to tell the people to move on.

    As for the claims of Ipswitch and the analytics, it is unlikely to work as you described.
    Tim Norton
  • Long live Big Brother!
    NefariousWheel