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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Will NYC subway have as much CCTV as the Tube?

Today Boris Johnson is showing Mayor Bloomberg from New York City round the London Underground in an effort to display how
he's tackling crime.

No urinating on the tube by futureshape
No urinating on the Tube photo by futureshape

Apparently Bloomberg "is particularly interested in London's use of CCTV" and more so in the 12,000 cameras on the Tube (which will soon be rising to 14,000).

The Mayor's office said "This will ultimately mean that no one will be able to enter the Underground network without their face being recorded by CCTV - a development which has aroused considerable interest in New York."

I'm all for safety on the Tube, but I'm not sure how Boris is able to balance this with the Conservative party's election manifesto. One of the points states that it will be "curtailing the surveillance powers that allow some councils to use anti-terrorism laws to spy on people making trivial mistakes or minor breaches of the rules".

Video surveillance to tackle real crime is great. But low level nuisance like people having a wee in Tube corridors - is that really an offence for the police? Will that be extended to people who are sick in Tube passageways too?

A month or so ago I had lunch with Chief Inspector Paul Wilson who runs Neighbourhood Policing for the British Transport Police. It's possible to see what crime levels are like at individual London Underground stations.

He stressed to me that it's possible to report low level crime and nuisances on the Tube, such as unruly kids, rowdy drunks and the like to their local Neighbourhood Policing Teams. This seems more sensible to me than putting up a CCTV camera with the aim to catch someone urinating!

Anyway, Chief Inspector Wilson would be very keen to hear your views of crime on the Tube. Do you have any specific questions for him? Did you know about the Neighbourhood Policing System? Have you ever reported a crime on the Tube? Do you feel we have another police visibly patrolling stations, What do you think of the levels of CCTV on the network?

; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, May 11, 2010 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon