Incredibly, the Metropolitan Police and London Buses are again abusing the CCTV surveillance cameras which are installed in many London Buses, in order to hunt down innocent potential witnesses rather than possible criminal suspects.
Back in August we commented on the shocking murder of a young French student Amelie Delagrange in Twickenham, not far from the scene of a similar murder of Marsha McDonnell and several attacks on women walking home at night.
We hoped at the time that the CCTV surveillance cameras on buses , which are primarily to deter attacks on bus drivers and other passengers onboard, would not be abused by the Police to hunt down theoretical potential witnesses, who, may just cobceivably have "seen something", at night, through the dirty windows of a bus, with a brightly lit interior, during the few seconds whilst they passed the bus stop where the murder victim got off to meet her death, well away from the pavement by the bus stop.
These people are have an alibi, by virtue of having been videoed on a bus and alighting from it miles away from the time and location of the murder.
It is exremely likely that these "witnesses" have not come forward since they di not see or cannot remember anything relevant.
What possible use is this CCTV manhunt for alleged "witnesses" in November when the murder happened in August ? Even by the standards of the the Marsha McDonnell case, where the CCTV stills were released 5 days after the murder, this must be an exercise in futility.
Some or all of the "witnesses" who are being hunted could be summer tourists who are no longer in the UK.
The suspicion must be that this tactic is just another example of the form filling "tick the box" Police bureacracy of the sort described in Policeman's Blog
Hunting down innocent possible "witnesses" by publishing their CCTV photos devalues the use of CCTV for fighting crime, by treating the innocent as if they were wanted criminals.
Why has there been no discussion of the forward facing "Bus Lane Enforcement" CCTV cameras which deliberately point outside the Bus instead of spying on the interior ? If there were proper privacy safeguards and legally enforcable regulations regarding CCTV, which, unfortunately there are not, it might possible or even desirable to increase the number of these devices which are currently only installed on a minority of even CCTV monitored Buses.