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News

UK Crime-Fighting Costs Could be Cut With Intelligent Moving Cameras

Viseum : 01 March, 2010  (New Product)
Viseum comments on the effects of the large UK budget deficit on policing the country and how modern camera technology can help in reducing budgetary expenditure through multi-tasking
UK Crime-Fighting Costs Could be Cut With Intelligent Moving Cameras
In the wake of the massive UK budget deficit; various bodies are already looking at what budgets to ring fence and which to cut. This has led to calls from some to think the unthinkable and consider slashing the number of bobbies-on-the-beat. In what is likely to be a cash-strapped 2010, high tech company Viseum is highlighting the cost-savings to be made by employing intelligent moving cameras (IMCs) and the massive impact they are already having, not just in assisting the police, but by having tangible financial impacts on Government budgets and the overall UK economy.

For the last 20 years, all the main political parties have used increasing spending on the police as a sure-fire vote winner. But the impact of the downturn is beginning to make itself felt and hard choices may now come into play. The mantra is fast becoming, 'crime is down, money is tight and efficiencies are needed' and the police budget could become a target.

A recent article in The Guardian reported that spending on the police is set to rise by 2.7% to £10bn next year and of this figure, the 145,000 police offers in England and Wales take 70% of this budget. This has led former Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to make the comment that 'policing is simply becoming unaffordable.'

In this new financial landscape, cameras are playing an increasingly important role. Traditional CCTV installations have been criticised as ineffective, but of 10 field installations where the latest Viseum IMC (Intelligent Moving Camera) deployments have been publicised, the intelligent multi-tasking cameras have made a significant impact on crime statistics.

The IMC from Viseum can be incorporated into any CCTV camera and the sophisticated technology 'trains' the camera to spot criminal activity automatically without necessarily the need for any human intervention, thus alerting the control room operators to a potential crime as it is occurring.

Viseum is currently calculating how much the UK could save on its crime bill by greater use of this technology, to be presented in a study due later this year. The company is also working to establish how much money a single IMC will save each particular community with specific crimes and anti-social problems, thus providing local authorities and police forces with the financial data they need to justify the investment.

A recent study indicates the cost of crime to the UK economy is now running at a staggering £78bn per year.2 The widespread deployment of IMC technology across the UK would ensure Home Office Recommendations on crime detection and prevention are supported, and assist local authorities and law enforcement agencies in hitting targets as cost-effectively as possible. Based on current performance, IMC technology could save the UK economy £billions every year.

Stuart Thompson, Viseum's Managing Director and inventor of the IMC technology, said: 'By being less reliant on infrastructures, our cameras have been proven to help CCTV schemes capture 25 times more useable evidence than any other manned solution. That is a massive incentive both socially and economically for local authorities and other government agencies. Our system should not be seen as a replacement for human involvement, but as an innovative means to provide protection to large numbers of open space problem areas in the most cost-effective manner.'

Spending cuts are usually seen in a bad light, but as the Guardian article highlights, paradoxically it may be doing everyone a favour, by forcing those holding the purse strings to make practical and realistic decisions that politics might not otherwise permit. In this new cost-cutting world, cutting crime cannot afford to be sidelined and CCTV cameras with Viseum technology could prove invaluable in plugging the gap.
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