Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/28/portsmouth_cctv/
Portsmouth gets crime-predicting CCTV
Minority Report comes to Southern England
If you’re planning a rowdy night out in Portsmouth soon, then be careful what you get mixed up in. Because the city’s installed Minority Report-style CCTV cameras able to predict crimes before they’ve happened.
Well, kind of. Local Portsmouth paper The News reported this week that the cameras are linked to systems running behaviour-recognition software that watches out for the telltale signs of crime.
These could range from a gang of youths drinking outside a newsagents to small packages being passed between blacked-out BMWs late at night.
However, the cameras aren’t autonomous and simply alert a CCTV operator to a potential crime in the making. From then on it’s up to the operator to decide if they want to call the boys in blue.
Nick Hewitson, Managing Director of Smart CCTV, the company behind the system, claimed that the software’s ability to alert people to a potential crime will mean that “many more scenes are being watched than is normally possible”.
Jason Fazackarley, a Portsmouth Councillor, likened the system to a modern-day night-watchman, but one that never blinks or takes a break.