Mayor Bloomberg returned from London convinced more than ever that NYC needs to emulate the British capital's "Ring of Steel" surveillance system, which places cameras throughout the city to observe and help identify people in real time. He said that the danger of terrorism necessitated a similar system in New York, where plans are underfoot to install thousands of cameras and license plate readers in downtown Manhattan. "In London, they have two or three cameras on every single subway car, they have two or three cameras on every single bus."
Bloomberg cited the 2005 London Underground bombing that killed 52 people when suicide bombers set off explosives on crowded trains as a reason for the surveillance. Authorities were able to identify the dead terrorists within hours of the attack. The Mayor said that New Yorkers need to get used to being watched all the time, and that they already practically are watched constantly by private surveillance cameras. "I do think that in this day and age, if you think that cameras aren't watching you, you are very naïve." He added that the first thing police often do in a crime investigation is to check such cameras' recordings.
According to the Daily News, the MTA has a contract with Lockheed Martin to install 2,000 cameras in the MTA's network. NYC Transit has already installed 1,600 cameras in 70 subway stations (almost 23 per station!), with funding allocated for another 70 stations to be outfitted.