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Arena surveillance: UK police hope to stem football hooligans with tiny surveillance cameras

Published by Jennifer on July 17, 2007 2:02 PM

The United Kingdom is no stranger to security cameras. One of the first developed nations to use CCTV and video surveillance in everyday life, the UK has a staggering amount of cameras in public places - one camera for every fourteen people. Most of these cameras are stationary, on sidewalks, roadways, and in public transit stations. Police will unveil a new sort of mobile camera soon, though - one hoped to curtail a common problem.

Football (fellow American? Soccer). It's undeniably the most popular sport in the world, and loved by millions in England, which has a healthy system of teams and leagues. Rambunctious, often drunk, fans of these teams have built reputations as "hooligans," often causing fights, and sometimes worse, before, during and after games. It's grown into such a problem that police have developed a surveillance program - using tiny cameras embedded in hats and lapels, to try and stop the violence.

The cameras, which will premier at the beginning of the next football season, will broadcast live footage from plainclothes officers at football games to central monitoring stations, where the footage can be analyzed and any potential problems can be squashed. This new initiative depends on wireless technology, which allows the miniature IP cameras to transmit footage from place to place - without the coaxial cables usually associated with CCTV cameras.

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