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French to triple CCTV spending

CCTV camera numbers in France will triple over the next 2 years, the French Interior Minister announced last month. Michele Alliot-Marie told Le Monde magazine that CCTV networks were relatively undeveloped in France and new cameras would be used in the fight against terrorism and street crime. “The latest attacks in London were prevented thanks to their video surveillance system, [which is] 10 times more developed than ours,” she said. The French move would see 6500 cameras installed across Paris’s public transport network. Official estimates suggest there are already around 340,000 authorised surveillance cameras in France though not every one is happy with them. Along with fixed ground-based cameras plans to deploy 4ft-long spy drones across French skies in an attempt to tackle the country’s growing problem of gang violence were also unveiled. The drones, with day-night vision, will be used to track suspects and will begin testing in the country next year. But some local officials have already hit out at the plans. “Our suburbs are not Iraq,” said Gilbert Roger, mayor of the Paris suburb of Bondy. “We need more police officers on the ground and not machines.”

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