Home logoClippings (April - June 1998)


Watching them watching us (The Surveyor 30/4/98)

Security cameras may prevent crime (Aire Valley Target editorial 28/5/98)

Cameras unveiled (T&A 21/5/98)

Big switch-on for new spy cameras (T&A 20/5/98)

US Privacy Guru warns on CCTV (extracted from Guardian Online, May 8, 1998)

Heli-telly boost for the police (T&A 8/5/98)

Stations spy-trap plan (T&A 25/4/98)

Chief applauds public for helping cut crime figures (T&A 7/4/98)

Cameras keep the crooks at bay (T&A 7/4/98)


W YORKS: Burglary and vehicle theft are down but arson and sex offences are up

Chief applauds public for helping cut crime figures

Marianne Sumner (T&A 7/4/98)

Crime has crashed by nine per cent across West Yorkshire, according to figures out today. The good news compares with a national 8.8 per cent drop while other forces such as the City of London saw a rise of 6.2 per cent between 1996 and 1997.

And the two local success stories are in house burglary which fell by 18 per cent and vehicle theft which was down by 27 per cent. But arson was up by a massive 90.8 per cent and indecent assaults against males were up by 31.8 per cent.

West Yorkshire Chief Constable Graham Moore puts the good news down to officers monitoring existing criminals.

"Crime has been steadily falling for some time and it is a trend we are working to maintain," he said. "The targeting of known criminals has been enormously successful and made West Yorkshire a safer place to be. House burglary is something the public always voice their concerns about, so it is particularly pleasing to see success there, with more than 7,000 crimes committed but an extra 2,000-plus detections."

He added: "We can't take all the credit. The public have played a key role in driving the criminal from their communities through things such as Neighbourhood Watch. Together we can all build on this excellent work and make West Yorkshire even safer."

Categories which saw an increase were sexual offences, which were up 3.5 per cent, fraud/forgery (up 3.4 per cent) and criminal damage (up 1.3 per cent).


Cameras keep the crooks at bay

(T&A 7/4/98)

Security cameras have led to a dramatic drop in crime in Bingley Inspector David Drucquer, based al Bingley police station, said the number of burglaries, thefts from cars, robberies and assaults in the town centre had been hugely reduced in the past two years.

He told Airedale Police Community Forum last night that one of the main reasons was six closed-circuit security cameras introduced in January, 1996.

"Bingley is very well covered for CCTV and the figures are quite dra. matic for Bingley town centre," said lnsp Drucquer. "Bingley was known as a bit of a rough house but in total all crimes have gone down significantly. There are other factors but there's no doubt that one of the main reasons is CCTV. We have a very firm, proactive approach in Bingley and we intend to continue that."

He said the number of house burglaries had dropped from 27 in the period between April 1995 and 1996 to only six between April 1997 and the end of February this year.

Superintendent Sieve Priestley, divisional commander for Keighley, also reported encouraging figures. He said crime in the division, which includes Bingley, had dropped by 13 per cent in the 11 months from April 1997. That meant there had been 1,400 fewer victims of crime.


US Privacy Guru warns on CCTV

(extracted from Guardian Online, May 8, 1998)

Phil Zimmermann, the US Privacy guru who took on the FBI and won, commented on the growth of CCTV in Britain at a London conference.

"There seems to be ubiquitous surveillance here in London," he said last week. "Thereíre TV cameras out on the street. Everywhere. Iíve seen a couple of cameras in New York City, but youíve got it on a much larger scale here." Zimmermann suggests that he is not so much concerned about police using the cameras to keep an eye out for troublemakers. "I worry about computer algorithms that can now recognise faces." In 10 years, there could be millions of cameras on the streets of Britain, he says, "having the ability to look up all the faces in the crowd." He sees the cameras being wired to expert systems that could watch for certain patterns of behaviour: "For what purpose? You could use it as a form of political surveillance.

"Our laws move slowly but the technology moves quickly. We have to devise checks and balances and put them in place as quickly as we can, before [the law] becomes overtaken by the shock front of the technology moving through it. A good government could be tempted to become a bad government."

One US commentator describes Zimmermann as very sweet, with or without cordial, and "somewhat egotistical . . . I guess thatís what comes from feeling like youíre fighting the government singlehandedly".

Zimmermann is the American computer scientist who provoked his governmentís wrath in the early 1990s by developing and then giving away software for turning e-mail into encrypted messages that not even the secret service agents at the National Security Agency or the FBI could hope to decode. He hadnít wanted to give away his hard-won pension plan, conceived over five years on a shoestring that didnít stretch to meeting his mortgage payments at one stage. "The original idea was to make money selling it," he recalls. But, in 1991, new legislation designed to give the security services access to all electronic data turned him into a radical: "I thought [the legislation] was a bad thing, and many other people did, too. And just decided to give [the encryption software] away in the hopes that it would be more widely deployed." A personís privacy is precious, he insists: "People already enjoyed privacy with postal mail, and face-to-face conversations." But advances in technology meant that "if they cannot use encryption, they canít have their privacy."

When the Government got heavy and threatened to indict him for breaking the countryís export controls by distributing restricted intellectual property over the Internet, supporters established an international fund to finance his legal defence. The case was dropped in 1996, without the Department of Justice giving any reason, and this avuncular crusader became an icon and his software, Pretty Good Privacy, earned a reputation beyond the wildest dreams of the most successful PR. The benefits are not lost on Zimmermann. PGPís one quality "that is certainly going to be elusive to other competing products is its heritage."

Pretty Good Privacy - Free Download

7 May 1998


Stations spy-trap plan

(T&A 25/4/98)

Security cameras could be provided at Keighley, Steeton and Crossflatts railway stations as part of a proposed new hi-tech surveillance system.

Keighley bus station could also be linked into a control centre covering West Yorkshire. The bus station is currently covered by three cameras, forming part of Keighley's town centre CCTV network. Time-lapse video recorders cover the platforms and car parks at Keighley and Crossflatts railway stations.

Transport chiefs were due to meet today to discuss the introduction of a £7 million surveillance system over several years. Security experts have detailed what is needed to protect bus and rail passengers from attacks. They believe a camera network would reduce the costs of vandalism and increase income by encouraging more people to use public transport.

Experts add that a security package should also include good lighting, pruning of shrubbery, quick repairs and the removal of graffiti.


Heli-telly boost for the police

(T&A 8/5/98)

A police station on wheels which acts as a mobile control room at major incidents, has been unveiled in Bradford.

West Yorkshire Police's new multi-purpose command vehicle contains much state-of-the-art equipment - including a heli-telly.

The heli-telly is a monitor in the van which shows live footage from the force's helicopter as it hovers above major incidents, giving police a massive tactical advantage.

The vehicle - specially converted in the force workshops from a Mercedes 4120 series van - is also fitted with three radios, two cellphones and a cellfax.

Another feature is the "office" walls which are completely lined in wipe-clean whiteboard so notes can be made to illustrate operations or details of incidents.

The command vehicle was unveiled at Odsal police station. Inspector Ian Dellow said: "The advantages are its flexibility and manoeuvrability which enables it to be driven on sites previously inaccessible. It takes a maximum of one hour to get to any incident in the county."

Other facilities include a 40ft telescopic mast to enable long distance broadcasts, inflatable air tents to extend the working area and a separate conference area for four people.

A prison van can be backed directly up to the tents and the prisoners processed and transferred straight into the van.


SHIPLEY: Hopes high for crime-rate drop as CCTV system unveiled

Big switch-on for new spy cameras

by Isobel Fox (T&A 20/5/98)

Crime-busting spy-in-the-sky cameras were due to be switched on in Shipley town centre today.

The long-awaited closed-circuit television cameras were given their official unveiling by Bradford's new Lord Mayor, Coun Tony Miller, after a two and-a-half year campaign to get them installed. Five high-definition colour cameras have been erected around the town - two in market Square, one in Wellcroft, Westgate and Fox's Corner. They will all be monitored from a central control room based in Keighley, which will work closely with Shipley police.

It is hoped that the cameras will be as successful as a similar scheme in Bingley where the cameras have helped slash vandalism and burglary by more than half.

Coun Phillip Thornton (Lab, Shipley East) said he hoped the system would reduce the number of mugging incidents which have been prevalent outside cash machines in the town centre in recent weeks.

He said: "Hopefully the cameras will help to reduce crime and make Shipley town centre a more welcoming place for shoppers and tourists alike." The £140,000 project has been funded with donations from businesses, Bradford Council, Metro and £58,000 from the Government.

The Home Office has appointed an independent advisor to look at the effects of CCTV. He will compare pre camera crime figures with those recorded after installation. Shipley will then be compared with Pudsey - a town similar in size but which does not have the protection of CCTV equipment.

Police in Shipley are confident that crime levels will fall dramatically in the town now the cameras have been introduced.

Inspector Nigel Cawthorne said: "We're very excited about the project. It's been a long wait but we're sure the cameras will have a significant effect on reducing crime and give people more confidence.

"Shipley is quite a safe place to shop and the new system will allow police to respond to any incident captured on the cameras which can be used as evidence".


SHIPLEY: New Lord Mayor's first official engagement is a real crime-buster for town

Cameras unveiled

T&A 21/5/98

Bradford's new Lord Mayor got his year in office off to a flying start when he unveiled Shipley's new crime-busting spy-in-the sky cameras. Carrying out his first official engagement as Lord Mayor ' Councillor Tony Miller was lifted 25ft into the air on a hydraulic platform to launch the £140,000 closed circuit television system.

The ceremony marked the end of a two-and-a-half year campaign to get the high-definition colour cameras installed in Shipley. Pictures from five two in Market Square and one. each at Wellcroft, Fox Corner and Westgate - are now being monitored at a central control room in Keighley.

Coun Miller, who represents the Shipley East ward, said: "This is just another piece in the jigsaw of Shipley's on-going regeneration and will have far reaching benefits for everyone."


We say...

Security cameras may prevent crime

Aire Valley Target editorial (28/5/98)

The new Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Tony Miller performed his first civic duty this week and he is unlikely to have a more important job all year.

He switched on the new closed circuit security cameras in Shipley which, if experiences in neighbouring Bingley are anything to go by, should lead to a significant reduction in crime, especially burglary, vandalism and violence.

It was fitting that the job of "opening" this new facility should fall to the Lord Mayor, a Shipley man. The only people who have anything to fear from these devices are villains who prevent decent, ordinary people from going about their business in the town centre.


Top of Page

Back to Clippings List

Return to Home Page