Investing in technology such as CCTV to help solve crime may be a prudent use of public funds but only if the evidence supports the investment. The results of the Winnipeg CCTV Pilot Project are not yet known but a recent internal police review in the UK shed some light on the effectiveness of the CCTV network in London, England.
The study reported that in the last year in London 1000 crimes were solved as a result of CCTV.
That may sound like an impressive number but it has prompted David Davis MP to lament the spending of crime prevention dollars on CCTV. According to Davis CCTV is a very expensive approach considering its the minimal effectiveness.
London police are looking at measures that can be taken to increase the effectiveness of CCTV and have several projects ongoing to address the issue. The projects center on how images are retrieved and distributed.
In case you were wondering London has 1 million cameras in place: that equates to 1 crime solved for every 1000 cameras.