Biometric time clocks have become standard in hotels and other venues across the globe.They are also increasingly commonplace in businesses where people are required to check in on a regular basis.Now, they are also becoming standard in hospitals, where they are often used to keep records of patients who are not medically stable and need urgent care.But, the biometric technology is getting a bad r...
By Sarah DuttonA UK police force has warned that CCTV cameras may not be enough to stop criminals who are seeking to enter homes or break into cars.
A report by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) found that despite the introduction of CCTV cameras in Britain in 2015, burglars were not stopping intruders, even when using “a key fob or door access control system” to enter.
Instead, burglaries were “increasingly targeted at people’s privacy” and, in some cases, by a “small number of criminals”, the NPCC said.
It said that while CCTV cameras had been “very effective” in deterring crime, the introduction “has not been matched by a corresponding increase in the number of burglaries”.
The NPCC report, which examined the results of more than 4,000 investigations of home invasions and burglaries, also warned that the introduction and maintenance of CCTV “has contributed to a significant increase in incidents and crime in the UK, particularly with respect to children” but that this was “likely to be a short-term trend”.
“This trend will continue,” the report said.
The report comes amid mounting concern among police officers and public officials that the growing use of CCTV is undermining their ability to deal with crime and provide for their families.
In a recent report published by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RSPCA), Home Affairs minister Ben Wallace called for the introduction in the United Kingdom of “a robust, intelligent and reliable system” of CCTV, including “an effective system to monitor the use of cameras and control their use in public places”.
“There is growing evidence of a shift in the mindset of crime gangs and individuals to commit offences via electronic means,” the RSPCA said.
But the report by NPCC, which reviewed the results from 2,000 police forces, found that the use and maintenance “has largely been based on a combination of a lack of understanding of the issues involved and the difficulty of deploying a robust, integrated system”. “
As a result, criminals are increasingly being able to commit their offences online, accessing and accessing other online platforms, including social media, where they are more likely to be found and caught.”
But the report by NPCC, which reviewed the results from 2,000 police forces, found that the use and maintenance “has largely been based on a combination of a lack of understanding of the issues involved and the difficulty of deploying a robust, integrated system”.
This has meant that CCTV systems have been “virtually useless” to deter burglars, it said.
In the case of CCTV technology, it is “often necessary for officers to have access to the equipment they are looking for” and that “in many instances officers have no idea what the equipment is actually capable of”.
While it is understood that the rollout of the new technology will be slower than some other parts of the UK’s policing, it has not been fully implemented yet and the NPAC report said that “the potential impact of this lack of deployment” on police officers was “not fully understood”.
The NPAC recommended that “enforcement agencies should be prepared to consider using electronic surveillance systems that are both intelligent and capable of monitoring the use”.
In addition, the report warned that while police were able to identify “a small number of offenders” and “use this information to inform criminal investigations” “the real impact on police budgets will be in the future when it comes to tackling crime in communities”.
This “will be even more pronounced” if the NPPC recommends that the UK Government “consider additional resources to address the challenge of police budgets and the level of spending in policing” because of “the significant amount of money that is spent on policing by local authorities”.
(The NPRC has been asked to comment.)
The Home Office said the introduction is “currently in place” and added: “As with other crime prevention measures, the rollout is currently in place, but as it becomes a reality, there will be a period of transition.”
This transition will be for a number of reasons, including the cost of deploying the equipment, the operational challenges of using the technology in public spaces, and challenges of understanding and implementing the technology.
“(More to come) (With inputs from IANS)