Tuesday, 21 October 2008


So the French have decided to polish up their CCTV act

The UK may be regarded by many as the epicenter of the CCTV universe, but when compared to our freres across the channel, I'm reminded that there may only be a 22 mile strip of water that separates England from France, but in terms of deploying video surveillance in the capitol cities, we're practically living on separate planets.

Following a visit to our shores by Monsieur Sarkozy roughly a year ago, the President was heard to remark about his admiration for the significant and impressive level of surveillance, currently experienced by those people living in London.

Although traditionally, citizens of the republique have been spared the delights of widescale video surveillance monitoring, all that is set to change big time, with the announcement that Paris will receive a further thousand or so Public Space security cameras, within the next two years.

According to this news piece in the Telegraph, cameras are to be installed where they are needed most, which somewhat optimistically assumes that once installed, the political and operational pressures for expansion will somehow be contained through the power of the people.

Far more likely is the scenario that the proposed 44 million Euro investment as described in Le Figaro  will provide the pump priming foundation for a far more expansive and no doubt expensive foray, into wide ranging video surveillance throughout the city.

Whether the rapid adoption of city wide video monitoring is actually going to meet the needs of the good citizens of Paris, is perhaps something only the authorities can decide in the fullness of time. 

That said, given the proposed expenditure for what is in effect a relative small and no doubt less than efficient 'active' surveillance scheme, this does tend to suggest that whilst Londons past enthusiastic adoption of this technology may well provide a compelling basis for comparison, in practice our less than perfect experiences may not be quite so readily acknowledged, by those who are clearly on a mission to impress.

Bon chance mes amis!!

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