London buses trial centrally controlled CCTV


London buses trial centrally controlled CCTV

Karl Flinders

Transport for London (TfL) is filming passengers on a London bus route and sending the images to a control centre as part of a six-month trial of the use of technology to fight crime.

A total of 21 double decker buses on the undisclosed route in North London will have cameras which will be connected to a centre controlled by TfL and the Metropolitan Police.

This will be rolled out further if it proves successful, according to London Mayor Boris Johnson. "If this trial is successful then we will consider rolling out the system on other routes as part of our campaign to stamp out the casual disorder that led to a culture of fear on public transport," he said.

Currently although all London's buses have cameras, the information is stored on a hard disk in the bus and the police can request footage. The new system sends the information in real-time to the control centre.

The trial is not a test of the technology, provided by 21st Century, but to assess whether it is an effective way of helping.

Andy Thompson, performance manager at London Buses, said, "We know this technology works, and now we are going to test its application to the London bus network. While crime is low on London buses, we know there is more to do, which is why we are always looking at ways to improve safety, and our passengers' perception of safety, while they travel on our network."

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