The city needs more surveillance cameras to protect the public from terrorist attacks, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday during a visit to London.
Bloomberg, joined by London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, toured the security system in London’s subway, which has one of the largest networks of surveillance cameras in the world. “I am here to learn from others, see what works best, and try to fix things before they become a problem,” he said.
Suicide bombers struck London’s Tube and a double-decker bus on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people.
Compared to London, New York has far fewer cameras in its transit system, and Bloomberg has warned that the public is at risk because about half of them don’t work.
He acknowledged that cameras may have done little to stop the failed car bombing of Times Square.
“It’s not clear that they would have helped in Times Square, other than if the perpetrator knew there were cameras, he might not have tried to come into Times Square,” the mayor said. “But certainly cameras help after the fact and they help as a deterrent.”
New York’s Lower Manhattan system of some 3,000 cameras, operated from an NYPD command center, is modeled on London’s ‘Ring of Steel’ network. Bloomberg and the NYPD have called for a similar surveillance system in Midtown.