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UK Needs More Effective CCTV Usage Rather than More Cameras

Viseum : 04 March, 2010  (Technical Article)
Viseum is calling for existing CCTV surveillance installations to be used to their full potential in the UK rather than reaching out for more cameras which won't improve effectiveness
UK Needs More Effective CCTV Usage Rather than More Cameras
High tech company Viseum, specialists in IMC (Intelligent Moving Camera)
technology is making the surprising announcement that the UK does not
necessarily need more CCTV cameras. Instead, the company is calling for existing
installations to be used to their full potential, by upgrading existing cameras
to turn them into IMCs and thereby cut long-term costs and cut crime more

Recent reports in the press have criticised the 'ineffectiveness' of traditional
CCTV cameras and with calls from civil liberties groups highlighting the case
against cameras, you could be forgiven for thinking that the days of CCTV were

What these reports have failed to mention is that tarring every type of camera
and technology on the market with the same brush is misplaced, when some CCTV
cameras like those driven by IMC technology from Viseum are delivering stunning
results in every location in which they are installed, helping the public to
feel safe, catching more criminals than ever and in today's cash strapped world,
keeping costs down.

The success of the Viseum IMC is not down to more cameras, but by the
development of patented technology that can be incorporated into any CCTV camera
or scheme. This sophisticated technology 'trains' the camera to spot criminal
activity automatically, without the need for any human intervention, thus
alerting the control room operators to a potential crime as it is occurring. In
the early days, cameras were simply installed, without too much thought going
into the people, processes or technology that would be required in order to
deliver tangible results.

This point has been acknowledged, by among others, Detective Chief Inspector
Neville of the Met police's CCTV unit: 'Because we had CCTV first, we made all
the mistakes. And the mistake was to spend [money] on kit, but don't spend it on
people or processes and that's what's gone wrong. Let's invest the money that's
available for the training of people and the processes to make sure that what
we've captured is effectively used.'

Stuart Thompson, Viseum's Managing Director and inventor of the IMC technology,
said: 'Detective Chief Inspector Neville is right and his observations reflect
the reasons I developed IMC technology in the first place. Having thousands of
CCTV camera's is useless unless they are manned by trained staff, coupled with
technology capable of detecting crime as it happens and drawing the operators
attention to it. By focusing on the processes and technology involved rather
than hardware, our cameras have been proven to help CCTV schemes capture 25
times more useable evidence than any other manned solution.'

Another spokesman for the Met said, 'We estimate more than 70% of murder
investigations have been solved with the help of CCTV retrievals and most
serious crime investigations have a CCTV strategy.' The latest technology from
Viseum is helping to improve these figures and of the 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.

'It is a paradox, but Viseum can agree with those who say we may have too many
CCTV cameras, because to call for more, or at the other extreme, calling for all
CCTV to be scrapped both miss the point,' continued Stuart. 'The solution is not
necessarily more or less CCTV, but effective technology installed in the systems
we already have. By focusing on technology, we reduce the need to spend capital
on hardware, which is going to be an important consideration in the coming years
when budgets are likely to be tight.'

Viseum should not be seen as a replacement for human involvement, or as a means
to more cameras, but as an innovative means to provide protection to large
numbers of open space problem areas, utilising existing hardware in the most
cost-effective manner.
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