Identifying Suspects From CCTV
In his speech of 2016, Tony Porter, the then Surveillance Camera Commissioner, said that over “6 million CCTV cameras operate in the UK. It’s said that in an urban area on a busy day a person could have their image captured by around 300 cameras on 30 different systems”. There’s no doubt that The UK is one of the most watched countries in the developed world with London topping the list of most observed cities. Other cities across the globe now have similar levels of surveillance camera cover.
When a serious crime is committed or a major incident occurs in an area covered by multiple (public and privately owned) surveillance devices (e.g. CCTV, Ring Door Bells or footage recorded on mobile phone), this creates a challenge for law enforcement agencies. For example, after the London Riots of 2011, a vast amount of CCTV imagery was gathered by the police, resulting in experienced detectives spending thousands of hours reviewing surveillance camera footage, rather than making arrests or finding other vital evidence. More recently, the Hillsborough Enquiry and Grenfell Tower Fire investigation were also faced vast quantities of CCTV, resulting in police investigators being taken off front-line duties to process it. SRI operatives have also assisted with murder cases, including the Ilford Crossbow Killer.