One of the figures behind the revolution in CCTV as a forensic discipline has been recognised by the CCTV User Group with an achievement award on his retirement from the Metropolitan Police Service.
DS Steve Hubbard has been a police officer for 30 years. During the past seven years, he has been the deputy to DCI Mick Neville, the head of the Metropolitan Police Circulation Unit (MetCU).
The MetCU has taken big steps in the identification of suspects whose images have been captured on CCTV and other electronic recording media.
It has been instrumental in establishing a network of Visual Images, Identifications and Detections Offices (VIIDOs) in borough commands across London. VIIDOs are specialist CCTV investigative units which standardise the process for collecting and processing images, with the aim of identifying more of the suspects caught on camera.
Operation Withern was one of the MetCU’s flagship projects which identified 3000 suspects caught on camera during the August 2011 London riots.
Prior to the establishment of the first VIIDO, images of suspects caught on camera weren’t circulated widely or consistently, with the result that photos could languish in a desk drawer for months without anyone looking at them.
Hubbard has been instrumental in expanding the number of VIIDOs in the Met and improving the use of CCTV in courts, Neville said.
Presenting the award on behalf of the CCTV User Group was the chairman, Peter Webster, CCTV manager at Slough Borough Council. Webster praised DS Hubbard on his achievements and thanked him for driving forward the use of images to solve crime.
“On presenting this award to DS Steve Hubbard, the CCTV User Group wishes to recognise the huge contribution made not only by Steve Hubbard but also by Mick Neville and the Met Police as a whole,” Webster said. “The strategy of developing VIIDOs across London has given the criminals no safe place to hide from identification by the VIIDO teams. I was very impressed when speaking to Mick Neville’s team and would encourage other police services to follow the Met’s lead.”
Neville thanked the CCTV User Group for presenting the award. “It is further demonstration of the partnership work between the User Group and the police to improve the use of CCTV,” he said, adding: “DS Hubbard has been a key player in ensuring that criminals caught on camera are brought to justice.”
Caught on Camera