Failed police manhunt for Changchun baby murderer brings CCTV surveillance under fire
After 3,500 cops were unable to find either Zhou Xijun, the vehicle he stole or the baby he murdered during a 40-hour citywide manhunt in Changchun earlier this week, public anger has turned toward the city's costly and apparently somewhat useless network of CCTV surveillance cameras.
Changchun spent 140 million yuan [HK$174.6 million] on building its fiery eye-in-the-sky project - a blind eye, as it turned out in this case. Netizens want to know: If the vehicle was stolen around 7am and driven to Gongzhuling by just after 8am, with a few thousand police searching blindly in the city, the car recovered only after a citizen found it and called police, and with a suspect who turned himself in, where was the so-called eye-in-the-sky during all this? It catches almost everyone who runs a red light, so does the eye only see when used against the public it should instead be protecting?
According to Xinhua, China Unicom won the contract to build phase 2 of Changchun's "skynet", designed to provide blanket surveillance of the city with cameras in every building and at every intersection.
Construction began in August 2010 with a timeline of three years, and at present 58,000 of the network's eventual total of 60,000 cameras - some of which, Caijing writes, were provided by equipment manufacturer ZTE, are in operation.