Breaking Bad, Bristol? Hidden Pinhole Spy Cameras help nab Drug Gang
10 men have gone on trial this week, accused of attempting to flood the South West with Methamphetamine, in a failed scheme many in the media are gleefully dubbing “Breaking Bad Bristol”, after the popular US TV show. The trial follows an in depth, months long surveillance operation by police, who then stepped in to make the arrests before the gang could produce any of the drug. The drug- also known as Crystal Meth- has gained an element of notoriety in the public after the success of the TV show, which depicts a hard-up school chemistry teacher turning to drug production in order to fund his Cancer treatment. Though a ubiquitous blight on communities in many areas of America, the highly addictive stimulant has thankfully not gained much of a foothold in the UK- a fact that the accused in the case were presumably all too aware of.
Video surveillance played a key role in the police operation to stop the gang, with footage recorded by a hidden pinhole camera featuring prominently in the prosecution’s case, recorded by an officer sitting “back to back” with them in a pub. While the exact details of the techniques used remain under wraps, they did confirm that suspects were also recorded talking in a car using an audio bug, and were tailed by undercover officers over the course of several days. In addition to Meth, the prosecution also claim the men conspired to distribute Ecstasy and Amphetamine, in a plot that ranged from Bristol to Gloucester and Birmingham.
Also in this week’s CCTV and Security News
- Thai police have released CCTV images of two British holidaymakers (see below), taken shortly before they were tragically killed. David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found dead on a beach on Sunday morning. Police hope the images might help jog the memories of witnesses, and have appealed for anyone with information to come forward. Investigations so far have been somewhat confused, with Burmese migrants and Western tourists being announced as potential suspects.
- A London estate agent has been sacked after being caught on hidden camera swiping a chocolate bar from a tenant’s flat during a viewing. Jon Charter had set up a motion activated camera in his old flat to test it before installing it after his move. He ended up recording his letting agent leading a potential new tenant around the property, only to slyly steal a chocolate bar Charter had left in the kitchen. Charter described the theft to the BBC–“I got alerted by email that there was movement and sound in my flat and it starts recording remotely straight away. I then started to watch this and saw the theft. I felt it was a complete betrayal and wondered what else could have happened to others and myself previously.”
- In the latest of a witheringly long series of allegations in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaked documents, Der Spiegel reports that America’s NSA and the UK’s GCHQ have unprecedented access to information gleaned from German telecoms providers. The programme- codenamed “Treasure Map”- allows agents to secretly acess network data from millions of personal devices across Germany. Security researchers have warned this could be used to plan complex cyber attacks.