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New CCTV System Follows Movements of Potential Criminals

Published by Dan on April 18, 2007 9:37 AM

The UK is testing out a new video surveillance system designed to spot potential criminals, and then follow their movements. The camera unit, referred to as the Pounds 7,000 Bug, features a ring of eight cameras that provide a panoramic view of the area below. In order to determine whether or not criminal activity is taking place, the camera's built-in software, which can identify 50 behavioral traits, scans the footage. If abnormal behavior is detected, a ninth camera focuses in on the suspect and traces that person's actions.

The Pounds 7,000 Bug is currently being tested in shopping centers, which are considered to be well-suited for such a system. Wide-open public spaces such as shopping malls and town centers can benefit from the unit's ability to provide continuous coverage of an entire area. And with its ability to zero in on suspicious activity, the camera allows operators to observe behavior that might go unnoticed by security staff who can't be everywhere at once.

The system's detractors have privacy concerns in regards to the way the camera can follow an individual's every move. They feel it's possible that the unit will track more innocent passersby than actual criminals. While developers of the Pounds 7,000 Bug admit that it could confuse a window shopper for a loiterer, they feel that's a small price to pay for the clear and detailed evidence that the system will record in instances where an actual crime is committed.

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