Talking CCTV

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Talking CCTV is a CCTV surveillance camera that is equipped with a speaker to allow an operator to speak to the people at the CCTV-monitored site.

An example of a CCTV camera with speakers attached, in Ipswich, UK

In Wiltshire, UK, 2003, a pilot scheme for what is now known as "Talking CCTV" was put into action; allowing operators of CCTV cameras to order criminals to stop what they were doing, ranging from ordering subjects to pick up their rubbish and put it in a bin to ordering groups of vandals to disperse. In 2005 Ray Mallon, the mayor and former senior police officer of Middlesbrough implemented "Talking CCTV" in his area.[1]

John Reid, Home Secretary, claimed, "The new funding for Talking CCTV is aimed at the small minority who think it is acceptable to litter our streets, vandalise our communities and damage our properties", as he gave grants of £500,000 to 21 areas for the implementation of the "Talking CCTV" camera; Southwark, Barking and Dagenham, Reading, Thanet, Harlow, Norwich, Ipswich, Plymouth, Gloucester, Derby, Northampton, Mansfield, Nottingham, Coventry, Sandwell, Wirral, Blackpool, Salford, Middlesbrough, South Tyneside and Darlington.

Systems in Middlesbrough, West Bromwich, Redbridge,[2] Manchester and Nottingham [3] were implemented by Complus Teltronic Ltd using switching, telemetry and control room interfacing control systems from Synectic Systems Group Ltd a market leader in public area CCTV control systems.

The move has already received critics, dubbing the idea "Big Brother gone mad"[4]

Other towns have had such cameras installed. In 2007 several of the devices were installed in Bridlington town centre, East Riding of Yorkshire.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

The Simpsons episode "To Surveil with Love" was based around the idea of communicative CCTV.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]