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Put CCTV In All Homes, Britain's Top Cop Tells LBC

Monday 9th March 2015

Homeowners should install their own CCTV cameras to help detectives solve crimes, Britain's top police officer told LBC.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told Beverley Turner that eye-level cameras will help catch burglary suspects.

He told LBC: "We’ve got a strategy to encourage people, with their cameras, is to move them down to eye level."

But he warned they needed to be positioned correctly to be useful, adding: "Over the last year as facial recognition software has got better we can apply the software to the images of burglaries or robberies and we can compare those images with the images we take when we arrest people.

"What we need to be able to do is to be able to compare that photograph with the images we have of people committing a crime.

"Taking the tops of their heads is not that helpful for facial recognition which relies on the eyes and the configuration of the area around the nose and the mouth. So we’re trying to get people to, ideally, add another camera at face level."

LBC host Beverley suggested that burglars would just smash an eye-level camera, but Sir Bernard dismissed that notion. He said: "Most criminals are pretty disorganised, they don’t think about it. The reason the cameras are high is two-fold. One is to keep it out of harm’s way.

"As importantly, you get a whole shot of what happened at the event: What did they steal? Did they use a knife? You get all that. But more relevant today is a face. That’s what we need.

"If anyone who is listening has a business, think about installing a new one – they’re cheap, relatively. If you can’t buy one, could you think about moving it?"