Many have predicted that the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics will be one of surveillance, but with New York’s recent “Domain Awareness System” announcement, it’s looking like city security expansion will be the legacy of 2012 in general.

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After a series of break-ins in Hockley, Birmingham, UK that all seemed to be carried out by the same serial burglar, local authorities decided not to leave his arrest up to chance and to instead set a trap. We’re not sure exactly how the police knew that this trap would work or just how quickly it would catch the crook, but it sure did get the job done.

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Surveillance security systems and smart DVRs have come a long way in the past decade with the invention of features such as motion detection, scheduled recording, and live video streaming over the web. The lastest development, however, not only surpasses these features in usefulness, but downright puts their technological breakthroughs to shame.

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With the advent of security cameras for business use, criminals have been looking for new ways to go undetected. Most, if not all, businesses install surveillance gear as high as possible to get a better panorama of their stores, and keep the cameras out of vandals’ reach. Ever crafty, however, criminals have found a fine way to skirt the surveillance: simply wearing hats and hooded sweatshirts.

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For the past ten years the city of Lynwood, Calif. has struggled to fight gang violence and prostitution. It wasn’t having much success, however, and started looking for a new way to clean up its streets. Then in 2008, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Century Station, decided to run a trial of street security cameras to find out if they would help deter or catch criminals. And it wasn’t too long before the cameras proved successful.

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nypd-camerasIn light of the recent bombing attempt in Times Square, the NYPD’s plan to install a high tech surveillance network in Midtown Manhattan seems to have regained steam. NY officials installed high tech and expensive surveillance cameras after 9/11 in lower Manhattan with future plans to expand uptown. Since then, there has been much debate on the issue and budgetary constraints. After Saturday’s bomb scare in Times Square, the ideas to expand surveillance coverage between 34th to 59th streets from east side to west has regained attention.

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