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Police Chief: ‘Put CCTV in every home’

We found an interesting article from the chief of police early last year explaining the importance of installing CCTV in your homes and businesses.

One thing he doesn’t mention is the amount of CCTV cameras out there that are out of date or in need of maintenance. If the images are really poor and you can’t tell what the person in question looks like, the police can’t prosecute. Making it even more important to stay one step ahead of the criminals.

CCTV cameras should be installed by homeowners and businesses to help detectives solve crimes in the age of austerity, Britain’s most senior policeman has said.

Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe also said that homeowners must make efforts to install equipment properly to avoid undermining inquiries.

When the Metropolitan Police Commissioner was asked if business and home owners needed to make greater use of CCTV cameras he said yes, adding: “We’ve got a strategy to encourage people, with their cameras, is to move them down to eye level.”

But the Commissioner warned those buying such devices to be sure to position them correctly. 

He said: “Over the last year as facial recognition software has got better we can apply the software to the images of burglaries or robberies and we can compare those images with the images we take when we arrest people.”

“What we need to be able to do is to be able to compare that photograph with the images we have of people committing a crime.

“Taking the tops of their heads is not that helpful for facial recognition which relies on the eyes and the configuration of the area around the nose and the mouth. So we’re trying to get people to, ideally, add another camera at face level.” 

Speaking on LBC radio, Mr Hogan Howe denied that placing cameras at eye-level could invite criminal acts of vandalism. 

He said: “‘Most criminals are pretty disorganised, they don’t think about it. The reason the cameras are high is two-fold. One is to keep it out of harm’s way. 

“As importantly, you get a whole shot of what happened at the event: What did they steal? Did they use a knife? You get all that. But more relevant today is a face. That’s what we need. 

“If anyone who is listening has a business, think about installing a new one – they’re cheap, relatively. If you can’t buy one, could you think about moving it?”

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