A BBC report suggests that the police often aren't making full use of the CCTV cameras at their disposal. Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville says that "most forces do not have systems to retrieve, process CCTV crime scene images." He thinks that rather than spending money on more cameras we should work out how to use the ones we have got.
I would have thought the situation varies completely. Wandsworth Council have a very high number of cameras, 1,113, and obviously believe they are highly effective. North of the Thames, in my borough, I am persuaded that CCTV is also effective and I often lobby for my cameras when a street in my ward emerges as a crime hot spot.
But the report claims that police in some London boroughs are failing to make any use of CCTV even for such crimes as serious assault and robbery.