Thanks to a new CCTV network that has been unveiled this month in time for the Olympics, Police plan to catch offenders in the act during their crime.
Video footage from over 30,000 cameras on UK transport links will be streamed to officers who are especially trained to spot unusual or suspicious behaviour.
The £14million initiative, which was opened by Transport Secretary Justine Greening at a police station in London, will enable Police to view and track suspects within a few minutes of offences taking place.
Usually after a crime is reported, the general process of investigation involves any CCTV evidence from the location of the crime being seized and analysed retrospectively. Quite often, CCTV footage comes in a format which is difficult to analyse or work with, something that we at CY4OR deal with on a regular basis. This footage has to be converted to a more user-friendly format before it can be enhanced or submitted as evidence for court use. Previously, police had to trawl through 40,000 hours of CCTV in order to catch the summer rioters last year, and searched through over 60,000 hours of footage to re-trace the footsteps of the 7/7 London bombers.
This new CCTV network could mean that tracking offenders could now be done instantly, leaving less time for them to make their escape.
In related news, a judge has praised a CCTV operator for stopping fraud as-it-happened by spotting criminals, part of an eastern European scam, fitting credit card-cloning devices to a cash machine.
The CCTV operator directed police to the suspicious activity which took place outside a bank in Darlington in the early hours of the morning. An examination of the cashpoint revealed devices designed to read the magnetic strip on bank cards to allow criminals to access people’s bank accounts.
Darlington Borough Council have said they are delighted that the hard work of their CCTV operators has been recognised in this way and are confident that this case proves that CCTV cameras are not only an effective deterrent, but can also assist in apprehending criminals.
Two of the offenders received jail sentences, and the third received a community order, after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud and possessing articles for use in fraud.
Real-time CCTV monitoring is becoming more commonplace, but it is obviously not a financially viable option for all businesses that require CCTV surveillance. CY4OR Ltd has worked with a wide range of CCTV systems in order to extract footage and provide it in a concise format for use in criminal investigations. Footage can be edited to only show relevant events, and enhanced to improve quality or focus on a specific area.