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Home Office battles to make CCTV useful

No impact on crime, not as pretty as hanging baskets

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The Home Office will today impose new police standards to encourage better use of surveillance footage, after its own research revealed that most of the millions of CCTV cameras watching the UK have no impact on crime.

Ministers will also appoint a "CCTV regulator", according to The Daily Telegraph. The job will fall to Andy Rennison, it's reported, the head of the Forensic Science Regulator.

He'll be tasked with implementing the two-year-old National CCTV Strategy, which recommends technical standards, police training and the creation of a central store for digital footage. It also calls for "evidence-based business cases" for investment in CCTV.

Little wonder. In summer a Met report found that for every 1,000 cameras in London, only one crime is solved with the help of CCTV.

Civil liberties groups suggested the government should rethink its CCTV strategy as a result. Today's news however seemingly indicates officals believe police are not making best use of surveillance cameras, which account for three-quarters of the Home Office crime prevention budget.

The Telegraph cites one unnamed source involved in the announcement saying: "Police need to make better use of CCTV evidence - they need a more systematic approach to ID suspects." ®

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