London, Oct 20 (UNI) 80 per cent of CCTV footage in Britain is of sub-standard quality and most of the times, the cameras are used to keep an eye on motorists than to catch the criminals, an official report revealed here.
The CCTV network of Britiain is the world's biggest with an estimated ''one camera for every 12 people''. The report released yesterday said that most of the cameras are located in the wrong places.
Even the cameras installed specifically to trap criminals are being used to catch errant motorists instead. ''Some existing cameras originally installed for detecting crime are now being positioned to monitor a bus lane and record vehicle number plates,'' the Daily Telegraph quoted the report as saying.
Besides, the purpose of the CCTV scheme may be to monitor crowds, slips, trips and falls and staff crime, the report further said adding that, ''Often there is a public expectation that these systems are being installed for their safety, but the CCTV may not be of sufficient quality for police to use in criminal investigations''.
CCTVs certainly helped to generate the image of the London bombers at Luton railway station, however, the report stated that the majority of cameras had not been placed in positions which might be required for the prevention and detection of serious and organised crime and counter terrorism.
The lack of sufficient information about the number of cameras and their location is the key problem. Reiterating it, the report said, ''Without a better understanding of the degree of coverage, or a clearer and supported end to end process, future guidance around common standards in all the areas of concern above, will fall far short of what is required to ensure a meaningful strategic direction.'' The police officials are also facing problems due to technical transition from video-based to digital imaging. To tackle this, experts are being employed to capture images from a variety of systems.