Thousands of CCTVs but 80% of crimes remain unsolved

London has 10,000 crime-fighting CCTV cameras which cost £200 million, according to figures released to the Evening Standard. But an analysis of the publicly funded surveillance network, which is owned and controlled by local authorities and Transport for London, has cast doubt on its ability to help solve crime.

A comparison of the number of cameras in each London borough with the proportion of crimes solved there found that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any. In fact, four out of five of the boroughs with the most cameras have a record of solving crime that is below average.

Dee Doocey, the Lib-Dems' policing spokeswoman, said: "These figures suggest there is no link between a high number of CCTV cameras and a better crime clear-up rate.
"We have estimated that CCTV cameras have cost the taxpayer in the region of £200million in the last 10 years but it's not entirely clear if some of that money would not have been better spent on police officers.

The figures were obtained by the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly using the Freedom of Information Act.

Tens of thousands of CCTV cameras, yet 80% of crime unsolved ( Standard, 19 September 2007)