Saturday, July 23, 2005

No CCTV in GO Train Concourse at Toronto's Union Station

Following the story about the bomb threat hoax at the TD Centre yesterday, because it's near and dear to yours truly, today's Globe & Mail indicates that the police had traced the source of the phone calls placed to the Globe and to the police to a pay phone in the GO Train concourse of Toronto's Union Station. And, as this point says, there are no surveillance cameras in the concourse (Globe & Mail, Bomb hoax targets TD Centre complex)
The crowds in the GO Transit concourse gave the caller near-complete anonymity. While police arrived quickly to seal off the phone with yellow police tape, none of the fast-food clerks and lottery vendors nearby said they noticed anything suspicious. There are no surveillance cameras on the concourse, but a police forensics team was gathering evidence at the site.
I was surprised by this because I just assumed there was surveillance cameras on the concourse.

For those not familiar, Union Station in downtown Toronto is a central hub where VIA, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), and GO Train (Ontario's commuter rail service) converge. The GO Train concourse is the starting point where you can purchase tickets, there are some fast food and convenience store outlets leading to the GO Train platforms.

Security concerns at Union Station were recently reported when a CBC reporter was able to drop a backpack off in a cargo area without a ticket (CBC, Patchwork security at Union Station unforgiveable: expert).

Now, I say I'm surprised because at the suburban GO Train stations there are CCTV cameras and monitors on the platform and in the station.

And, I could have sworn I saw banks of monitors in the GO Train concourse behind a great big mirrored-wall that must be hooked up to cameras somewhere. Just the platforms maybe?

Why wouldn't we have a camera on the payphones?

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