SAN FRANCISCO—As a multitude of cities and towns in the country consider installing municipal surveillance systems, more struggle with how the video and these cameras should be used. Who is in control? Who has the capability to view video? What are the privacy limits? 

Sir Chris Fox has tackled these questions head-on during his 34-year tenure in British law enforcement. During a media presentation in May, he said in addition to the obvious questions above, one of the most critical issues to consider with public surveillance systems is that city officials define their reasons for the program before jumping in feet first.

“What does success look like?” he said. “What is it I want and how do I know when I’ve reached that? Is camera technology what I need? Sometimes it isn’t.”

Fox was involved in the coordination of the national police operations after the London Underground bombings in 2005 and he also organized the security operations for the 2005 G-8 Summit in Scotland. In the case of the London bombings, video from a vast network of public surveillance cameras, which Fox refers to as community safety cameras, helped police identify the suicide bombers within days.

“These systems work when designed properly,” he said. “I’m not a technologist — I wanted technology that would allow me to do my job.” The U.K. has dealt with terrorism for the past 30 years but in the early 1990s when two-year-old Jamie Bulger was murdered and terrorism bombings increased, the public started feeling uncomfortable.“There was a public outcry for officials to find criminals,” he said. “Public wanted them and still do. You can’t beat a good old-fashioned picture of what happened.” He said there is an estimated one camera per 14 people in the U.K., but many of those are privately owned cameras in shops and gas stations, for example. How has the country justified the cost of the installations? Fox said the ROI is difficult to equate because “how can you measure the cost of a community that feels safer?”

What technologies will be critical in future municipal projects? Fox said analytics are the “key to the future” and camera installations of need to be mobile so that cameras can be moved as criminal activity deviates to new locations. He also said systems that could help police identify certain behaviors would be useful in this market.

Related Insights

  • The Risks Of "One Size Fits All" Security

    The Risks Of "One Size Fits All" Security

    Security concerns differ from industry to industry. So why do many businesses settle for one-size-fits-all security systems? Discover the potential threats to businesses such as car dealerships, restaurants and retailers, and the ways you can better protect against them. >

  • TycoIS: Roadmap to Integration

    TycoIS: Roadmap to Integration

    With so many moving parts to a company, organizing and securing business processes can be a daunting task. TycoIS provides fully integrated solutions to help optimize and protect your business, helping you work safer and smarter. Watch Now >

  • Why Tyco Integrated Security?

    Why Tyco Integrated Security?

    TycoIS is dedicated to helping you protect your business. Learn more about our integrated solutions and products, giving you safer and smarter ways to secure your business. Watch Now >

  • Why Security Technology Is Worth Your Investment

    Why Security Technology Is Worth Your Investment

    Taking strides towards economic recovery is a slow moving process. Since increased crime is a common impact of financial downturn, businesses are learning how to protect themselves. Learn about the most effective loss-prevention tactics, how you can maximize your cost-efficiency and ultimately mitigate risk. >

  • Security Tools And Their Unexpected Uses

    Security Tools And Their Unexpected Uses

    As a small-business owner, you have many tasks on your plate and are often short on time. The latest security tools can give you a valuable look into your business. Learn ways to leverage security resources as part of your company’s overall business strategy, and use the insights to help you run a safer and smarter business. >

  • Five Reasons To Use Mobile Security Management Applications

    Five Reasons To Use Mobile Security Management Applications

    Mobility has become integral to modern business. Small-business owners appreciate the flexibility, freedom and control it gives them, especially when off site. This white paper highlights five reasons to adopt the next generation of mobile security applications, and it outlines the capabilities that enable you to maximize your time and resources. >

  • The Challenges To Safeguarding the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

    The Challenges To Safeguarding the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

    As pharmaceutical supply chains become increasingly outsourced and global, it’s no longer adequate to review security when issues arise. Discover why many pharmaceutical companies are turning to proactive strategies to assess and respond to threats. >

  • Fighting Back Against Workplace Violence

    Fighting Back Against Workplace Violence

    Workplace violence is a serious and real concern, as it can include bodily harm, psychological effects, strains on employee health and possibly even result in loss of life. This white paper outlines the behaviors to recognize and the proactive security measures you can take to protect your employees and customers. >

  • How Remote Security Management Gives Small Business Owners Control and Freedom

    How Remote Security Management Gives Small Business Owners Control and Freedom

    The freedom that comes with owning a small business is not without worry. Staying on top of issues such as theft or burglary used to require putting in long hours or driving back to your business when an issue arose. No more. Learn how easy-to-use technology can contribute to the success of small business, giving you the tools to check on your business from any location and at any time. >

Request A Call Now For Your Free No Obligation Quote

Tell us about yourself

*Required

By submitting this form, you authorize Tyco Integrated Security, LLC/Tyco Integrated Canada, Inc. ("Tyco") to contact you using automated technology to provide information about products and services which may be of interest to you. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Please refer to our Privacy Policy.