Smile, you're court on camera

New spy cameras at London's centuries-old Middle Temple buildings have already helped collar their first thief.

The installation of a network of 43 security cameras, covering all outside walkways and entrance hallways in the Middle Temple, was nearing completion this week. Middle Temple under-treasurer Charles Wright said the security system had already proved its worth.

“We've got video footage of a gentleman in one of the car parks choosing his car, then breaking in and making off with a radio.

“Luckily he was known to the police and arrested fairly quickly.”

The network was installed, said Wright, because of a spate of thefts of computers and computer chips from inside buildings and thefts from cars. He said several chambers had had difficulty getting insurance and, with the CCTV system, they were now able to.

Barristers and staff have been issued with swipe cards to enter the buildings and a computer in a central control room logs who enters what building and when.

A similar CCTV system is being installed at Inner Temple and there will be a joint control room for both.