It is assumed that cameras will not prevent any crime, but will help solve it. In London, at least, this assumption doesn’t seem to be true anymore. London has spent about £200 (close to 300 million Euros) installing 10.000 CCTV cameras. The overall result of this investment is a decreased proportion of crime solved, not increased. There hardly seems to be a relation between the number of cameras and the proportion of crime solved.

  • There are now 10,524 CCTV cameras in 32 London boroughs funded with Home Office grants totalling about £200million.
  • Hackney has the most cameras – 1,484 – and has a better-than-average clearup rate of 22.2 per cent.
  • Wandsworth has 993 cameras, Tower Hamlets, 824, Greenwich, 747 and Lewisham 730, but police in all four boroughs fail to reach the average 21 per cent crime clear-up rate for London.
  • By contrast, boroughs such as Kensington and Chelsea, Sutton and Waltham Forest have fewer than 100 cameras each yet they still have clear-up rates of around 20 per cent.
  • Police in Sutton have one of the highest clear-ups with 25 per cent.
  • Brent police have the highest clear-up rate, with 25.9 per cent of crimes solved in 2006-07, even though the borough has only 164 cameras. cameras.

Link via boingboing.