Wildlife ‘trail’ cameras deployed at crime hotspots

Special tiny cameras commonly used to record wildlife are being introduced into crime hotspots by Hertfordshire Constabulary.

Jul 5, 2012
By Paul Jacques
David Kennedy

Special tiny cameras commonly used to record wildlife are being introduced into crime hotspots by Hertfordshire Constabulary.

The cameras, known as trail cameras because they are often used on wildlife trails, are being used in areas in East Hertfordshire which are not currently covered by CCTV and where there are on-going issues with criminal damage, graffiti or anti-social behaviour.

Chief inspector for East Hertfordshire, Gerry McDonald said: “These cameras are very cheap to buy and can record for a substantial amount of time. They operate on a movement sensor so they only record when someone is in the immediate vicinity. Because of their size they are also very easy to conceal.

“We hope to use them to detect a wide variety of crimes, but they will only be used in areas where we know there are problems to enable us to catch offenders. They are completely portable, so easy to move and change location.”

Malcolm Alexander, East Hertfordshire Council’s executive member for community safety and environment, said: “This is a creative use of these little cameras that will help in our continuing crackdown on anti-social behaviour. By working with the police we have seen a reduction in anti-social behaviour in the district.”

Mayor calls for BWV in pubs

The Mayor of Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, wants body worn video (BWV) cameras to be used by security guards at pubs in the city.

The proposal follows a large number of cases of someone’s word against another’s where BWV would have been a solution. Rather than restricting restaurant and pub opening hours, which could damage the economy and many people’s jobs, Mayor Jonas Ransgård proposes equiping all security guards with cameras. He said that security guards and guests would be less likely to get into brawls if they know they can be filmed.

Gothenburg Police is positive about the proposal and feels it is a step in the right direction. Lars Klevensparr, director of Greater Gothenburg police force, said that body worn cameras would make it easier to prosecute people and considerably improve the integrity of evidence.

The mayor hopes the proposal will persuade restaurant and pub owners to introduce the cameras on their own initiative, but Mr Ransgård said he has no reservations about making cameras a requirement if this does not happen.

The mayor recently met with representatives from BWV specialists Reveal Media to discuss the proposal.

Cyber attacks threat

MI5 is fighting against an “astonishing” level of cyber attacks on UK industry in the run-up to the Olympics, the Director General of the intelligence service, Jonathan Evans, warned last week.

Internet “vulnerabilities” were being exploited by nation states as well as criminals. These attacks were a threat to the integrity of information, he added.

Mr Evans warned that the London 2012 Olympics was an “attractive target” for terrorist groups, but the Games would not be an easy target as security preparations were well under way.

In his speech last week, Mr Evans spoke of MI5’s efforts to tackle “industrial-scale processes involving many thousands of people lying behind both state-sponsored cyber-espionage and organised cybercrime”.

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