The BBC reports that "Abductor caught on CCTV is jailed"
"Dieter Graw, 47, tried to kidnap the 16-year-old in Adwick, Doncaster, in June 2003. The footage caused outrage when it was screened on TV."
The implication of this and other media headlines reporting this case is that somehow CCTV surveillance was instrumental in foiling the attempted attack on the girl walking home alone early in the morning.
In fact, CCTV had nothing to do with this incident:
"An off-duty police officer, Pc Noel Duke, had seen the girl walking alone and had alerted colleagues.
They trained CCTV cameras on the area and police arrived at the scene seconds after Graw ran away"
The CCTV footage, shown over and over again, due to the long distance between the camera and the incident, added nothing to the description of the attacker compiled from the statements from the girl and the policemen who arrived on the scene after a few seconds.
This police patrol was already on its way, and had nothing to do with the CCTV surveillance of the scene. In fact there does not seem to be any way for the CCTV operators to communicate in real time with such a patrol, if, for example,, they could see where the suspect was hidden, and the police patrol could not. As it happened the suspect simply ran off out of sight of the cameras and evaded the police patrol on the night.
The attacker was obviously not detrred from committing a crime by the presence of CCTV surveillance, which he was probably unaware of.
All that the CCTV system did, was to provide "soundbite" video clips and still frame grabs for the ghoulish media to drool over and rebroadcast and republish.
This case should not be used as an example of the effectiveness of CCTV surveillance in preventing or fighting street crimes.