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Security cameras at office buildings and apartment towers also train thousands of lenses at unsuspecting New Yorkers and often provide invaluable aid to cops.
But the NYPD has no comprehensive system to monitor the Financial District -- considered the nation's No. 1 terror target.
New York cops became more aware of the value of London's "ring of steel" during the terror attacks of last July 7, when the cameras quickly provided images of suspected bombers.
Above ground, London has cameras posted at 16 entry points and 12 exits from the so-called City of London -- an enclave that basically encompasses the financial district along with landmarks like St. Paul's Cathedral.
Streets also were narrowed slightly at the chokepoints to allow cameras mounted on unobtrusive posts to capture real-time images of license plates and drivers' faces.