|CCTVLondon.co.uk says that three-quarters of security cameras are either not working at all or have problems|
The huge majority of CCTV systems installed in London have some kind of fault which means they are worthless in the fight against crime, a new survey reveals.
A leading London installer of CCTV systems says that three-quarters of security cameras that it has seen in recent months are either not working at all, or have problems which mean that they fall below Police requirements for the collection of evidence for use in Court.
According to CCTVLondon.co.uk, this means that over 316,000 of the Capital’s estimated 422,000 camera systems might be letting criminals that target homes and businesses walk away scot free.
"This highlights the importance of regular maintenance of all types of CCTV camera systems, large or small," said Jonathan Ratcliffe from CCTVLondon.co.uk, "More than half of businesses are hit by crime every year, and the deterrent effect of security systems is lost if they don't work."
The study of 300 CCTV camera systems carried out by the company revealed:
- 75% had a fault
- 30% had the system time set 1hr fast or slow
- 25% had wrong time zone settings
- 15% had faulty cameras
- 2% were not recording anything
With three out of four cameras displaying a fault, none would meet UK Police requirements for CCTV Systems. This means they are useless for capturing evidence capable of securing a conviction in a court of law.
There are up to 6m cameras in the UK, and an estimated 422,000 watching London:
- There could be 4.5 million cameras in the UK not working correctly.
- Approximately 316,500 cameras in London not up to acceptable standards
CCTVLondon.co.uk said that many systems operated by small businesses aren't checked, and it is these systems that small businesses rely on to provide evidence in the event of criminal activity.
"CCTV cameras are a very powerful tool in the fight against crime," said Ratcliffe, "but only if they're working, properly maintained, and pointing in the right direction."
"Some systems we've come across are so poor that you can barely see what's going on in front of the camera."
CCTVLondon.co.uk's Jonathan Ratcliffe said that the economic downturn mean that owners are more likely to neglect their security systems.
"With businesses tightening their budgets and crime against property expected to increase, these figures will only get worse."