London Mayor Boris Johnson praised New York City's vast network of security cameras during a tour Wednesday of several NYPD crime-fighting efforts and said he wants to use the surveillance system as a guide to fight crime and terrorism in his city.
"We just had an extraordinary presentation on data collection of surveillance cameras and we are looking at New York as a leader in making that data work for us," Johnson said at a news conference with Police Commissioner William Bratton at the NYPD's Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, part of the department's counter-terrorism bureau.
The tour also gave Johnson a look at the city's radiation detectors, under the guidance of Bratton, who also announced a pilot program of Smart Cars for use in parking enforcement.
Johnson toured the initiative's offices, which house a surveillance unit integrating thousands of closed-circuit and surveillance cameras with a central monitoring facility.
Johnson said the NYPD's network of 8,000 cameras collecting and processing information "in real time" is something he'd like to bring home.
"The speed in which the cameras in New York can detect suspicious bags and people is impressive," Johnson said.
The data-collection system could help London "track down people we have under surveillance, which requires a lot of shoe leather," he said, adding that London has "a small minority -- in the low one thousands" monitored by police.
Johnson also had high praise for the NYPD's radiation detectors that look for dirty bombs.
"We don't have that level of detection," said Johnson, adding it would have helped find two Russians who left a trail of radiation in London after poisoning Alexander Litvinenko, a fugitive of the Russian secret service, who died in 2006.
For all the technology on display, Bratton said the city has ways to go to reach London's low homicide rate.
"If we can get rid of the guns in the city, we can get to where you are," Bratton told Johnson at the news conference.
Bratton also said nine Smart Cars -- a popular urban ultra-compact two-seater -- could replace three-wheel scooters used by police officers to ticket illegally parked vehicles.
Bratton said the Smart Cars "are cheap and more maneuverable." Painted in NYPD blue, the cars are currently being tested at the Central Park Precinct and the school safety division.
Consumer Reports rated "the tiny two-seater as good on gas and a snap to park and does a decent job keeping up with traffic." The publication clocked the car's at 39 mph.