Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The CCTV camera that walks up a lamp-post
The Met Police have bought 7 Sherpa remotely operated surveillance cameras. The cameras are unusual not only because they can beam their signal back to the Met’s cctv base by radio wave. But also because the £25,000 cameras can be deployed at short notice by two personnel, who attach the camera to the bottom of a lamppost which it then remotely climbs. The cameras have their own power supply, which gives them an operating time of 48 hours.
The Met is required to apply to local authorities for permission to operate these gadgets. The Met say no microphone is included in the machine. The Met’s press office comments …
“Within the context of public order policing the MPS uses these cameras to provide additional CCTV coverage for public events, where there are gaps within static CCTV coverage to allow command teams running the policing of events to monitor crowd safety and dynamics”.
The camera photographed by Mike Wells was on a lamppost in Clerkenwell Green on Mayday (1st May 2009). The person noticed it and photographed it, then an hour or so later found it had been removed.
The machines are made by Norton Integrated Systems Ltd.Link to the manufactures website: http://www.nortonsystems.co.uk/sherpa/
A cheeky person suggested that when the camera is up, stick a big fat cable tie around the post as high as possible, stopping its descent, cops aren't allowed more than 6ft from the ground on their insurance.