volkrsschädling (xerode) wrote in london_070705,
volkrsschädling
xerode
london_070705

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That shooting...

He wasn't wearing a heavy jacket. He used his card to get into the station. He didn't vault the barrier. And now police say there are no CCTV pictures to reveal the truth. So why did plainclothes officers shoot young Jean Charles de Menezes seven times in the head, thinking he posed a terror threat?


Full article - Death in Stockwell: the unanswered questions.
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*nod* I'd heard this a while ago. Now, whatever you may think I'm not one to jump to conclusions about conspiracy theories. But I certainly think it is a bit odd that there was no film in the CCTV cameras that day.

The whole thing really was an outrage :(
You misread it. It wasn't a case of no film in the CCTV cameras; the feed from the cameras goes to a video recorder.

It's no surprise at all that the cameras weren't working; I'd be more surprised if they were working. CCTV on the Underground is carried by badly degraded wiring with signals from half a dozen different systems piggybacking on the same wire - the PA, internal CCTV and BTP CCTV all travel on the same wire which has been patched countless times when instead fresh new cable should have been laid for each system. It all works fine on a dry day, but with the slightest bit of moisture in the air the resistance of the wire goes up and you lose half the cameras. And even when the cameras are actually working, half the video recorders aren't - they're using VHS recorders that are 20 years old or more.

I worked for London Underground for over 4 years, three of which were spent in the Control Room at Earl's Court - both as a Line Information Assistant on the District Line, and as a Line Controller (only the second ever female Line Controller on LUL). I had access to all the CCTV feeds for both the District and Piccadilly lines and got to see first hand just how decrepit and archaic the equipment used is. If anything went wrong with any of the consoles, they had to cannibalise spare parts from museum pieces. The emergency phone system at Baker Street is actually booted up from a 5¼" floppy. A family of mice lived in my console. My Sunday duties at Earl's Court used to consist of checking the CCTV feeds from all stations on the District and Piccadilly lines; on a good, dry day maybe a third had acceptable pictures, with blurred, grainy, snow-filled images for another third and the rest dead. Engineers were permanently out on call to all locations all the time.

If it rained,I lost all PA and CCTV images from Gloucester Road to St.James's Park - on one particularly memorable day there was nothing between Earl's Court and Whitechapel. We frequently lost the whole of the Acton - Heathrow feed. (Apart from when the guy chucked himself under a train at Hounslow - I got glorious technicolour pristine images for that, more's the pity....)

Working conditions there were absolutely atrocious and we lived with equipment failure on a daily basis. But that's what happens when a succession of governments consistently underfund public transport for over 30 years. It's the dedication of the workers that keeps the Underground running.

Increased security doesn't change the fact that the whole lot needs replacing. The Connect project was supposed to do this, but Connect was cancelled a year ago.

Incidentally, the Met Police are actually obliged to contact the BTP when going onto railway property; if they'd done that, there would have been BTP officers on hand with functioning LUL radios so they could have kept in contact with senior officers. The Met doesn't have jurisdiction on the railway; BTP does.

I think you can attribute it less to conspiracy theories and more to one astronomical clusterfuck complicated by equipment failures. Which sadly does not prevent any chance of it happening again - and I'm willing to bet the cameras at Stockwell today are just as screwed up as they were that day.
you know, that's entirely unsurprising. nobody wants to believe that basic infrastructure like that ever needs upgrading. it's too unglamorous to get money... :/
Ha! :P

The budget for this country is all skewy. They need to stop over-funding politician's pockets, and stop underfunding the transport infrastructure. If they weren't so interested in killing people and demonstrated how not corrupt they aren't, we'd be on 400mph mag-lev's by now. >:(
I feel I ought to point out that the BBC has linked to this comment here.
The emergency phone system at Baker Street is actually booted up from a 5?" floppy. A family of mice lived in my console

Good grief, it gets worse and worse.

Doesn't surprise me all that much either. But I guess if eyewitness reports are correct, the police are still lucky that the system is as bad as you say it is.
I'm with the troupe that thinks it wasn't the police that did the pulling-of-triggers. Although having stared through the security office's windows at London Bridge on more than one occasion, I can vouch for the crapness of the vast majority of the security cameras...
Why do they spend money on a system that isn't even working? I guess to give people/travellers a false sense of security