Cash prizes for catching CCTV criminals In UK  

Posted by Big Gav in

The BBC has a report on a plan that sounds like a cross between Big Brother (1984 style) and Amazon's Mechanical Turk - Cash prizes for catching CCTV criminals.

There are 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain watching our every move. In London, there are more CCTV cameras than any other city in the world with one camera for every eight Londoners.

But as victims of crime have found to their cost, catching criminals on camera is dependent on the equipment being both monitored and maintained.

BBC Inside Out's investigation has found that all too often Big Brother either is not watching, had a broken camera, lost the footage or could not be bothered to go through the tapes.

Even within the Metropolitan Police itself, there are differences of opinion about the value of CCTV.

One senior Met officer, Mick Neville, described London's CCTV network as an "utter fiasco", claiming it takes 1,000 cameras to solve just one crime per year.

But another senior Met officer disagrees. Detective Chief Inspector Julian Worker said: "For me, it is the most useful tool amongst the armoury of investigative tools that the Metropolitan Police and other police services throughout the country use. We are probably market leaders in the way that we utilise CCTV."

One UK businessman thinks he has come up with a solution by recruiting volunteers to watch live CCTV footage streamed over the web in return for cash prizes.

Businessman Tony Morgan sees his company, Internet Eyes, as the future with an army of volunteer spies monitoring live CCTV footage online and alerting police to any criminal activity they witness.

Their only incentive is a monthly prize of £1,000 for the best crime spotter of the month yet more than 10,000 recruits have already signed up.

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