Big Brother is watching the UK

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by stoatman, Sep 3, 2004.

?
  1. No, all it does is infringe civil liberties and is simply there to be seen to be doing something, an

    21.2%
  2. No, the quality is always crap and the pikeys wear hoods & balaclavas anyway

    30.3%
  3. No, cos the scumbags know where it is so commit crime in places where it isn't

    18.2%
  4. Yes, I am comfortable knowing that Big Blunkett is always watching and can provide me with fuzzy pic

    30.3%

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  1. A rather pro-surveillance article from CNN:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/08/31/constantsurveillance.ap/index.html

    Points to note:
    4.2 million cameras, 58 million people - one camera per 14 people!
    CCTV does not prevent crime (better street lighting is around 5x as effective), takes manpower from proper policing, and encourages the Plod to treat policing rather like the fire brigade treats fire.

    As for the article, some of the quotes read like articles from Pravda, e.g. "Instead of being perceived as an Orwellian intrusion, the cameras in Britain ... were hailed as the people's technology, a friendly eye in the sky, not Big Brother but a kindly and watchful uncle or aunt,"... And the People welcomed Comrade Blunkett's wise speech about the need to root out and execute all dissenters in the workplace, in the Furtherance of the Ideals of NuLab! All Hail Big Blunkett!!!

    Is it just me, or is Britain becoming an unpleasant police state, where an accusation of racism/islamophobia/homophobia is treated more seriously than burglary/assault?
     
  2. Stoatman wrote:
    Yup, I have to agree with you there. The Thought police do exist and flourish under this lot.
     
  3. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    I wonder why Big Blunket wants so many CCTV cameras? It's not as if he can watch any of them. :?
     
  4. Stoatman says something about street lighting preventing crime, yeah fair one.

    These crazy loons of politicains here in Norway, want to do away with street lighting because they say it does not prevent crime. Id rather walk down a road and decide for myself whether im in danger from what I can see rather than what someone else can see. Can they put loud speakers on the cameras eg "OK, You in the blue run, you re about to be mugged"

    Also the defence minister wants to put all Naval ships in port to save money!
    which would effectively leave Norway defenceless!

    The more i understand of this language the more i despair at all politicians!
     
  5. I'd definitely dispute that and I do have a sort of vested interest as this falls squarely into my line of business.

    CCTV doesn't prevent crime on a big scale, but it definitely does increase the solving of crime on a very large scale. From personal experience of being in the industry for the last 6 years, I can think of at least 9 murders and hundreds (literally) of burglaries, muggings, abductions and rapes that have been solved solely on the basis of CCTV footage, including an attempted burglary on my own house where all 4 of the tossers that attempted it were convicted purely on the basis of the CCTV evidence provided by my own system.

    Whilst CCTV will never replace the presence of more Police officers, the financial realities are that HMG is not going to cough up enough money for the Police officers required, so we have to go to a "second best" solution and the most effective solution is broad CCTV coverage. I'm sure that the people whose lives and property have been saved by the very presence of large scale CCTV systems alerting the Police to their plight would not complain too much about the coverage increasing.

    It should also be remembered that response by Police to an incident that is being viewed "live" by a CCTV operator is far more likely to be immediate, whereas response to, for example, an alarm system or Mrs Bloggs down the road telephoning 999 and reporting a gang of youths up to no good is likely to be dropped down the priority list. If Police can actually see a crime in progress, they will pull all of the stops out (within their own manpower constraints) to get to that crime an arrest the perpetrators whilst they are still in situ.

    You should also know the constraints that are put on local authority or Police based systems. They are not allowed to hand the tapes out to all and sundry and the penalties for doing so under the Data Protection Act are very severe to say the least and they are rigorously enforced. Just ask any of the Police officers that use this site how easy it is to just walk into a local authority monitoring station and retrieve footage, I’m sure that they will (or should) tell you that it is a nightmare with every step and every image rigorously controlled. Most of the “reality TV” footage that you see on TV is either very old or very illegal and almost always comes from either outside the UK or is illegally supplied by private companies systems.

    Like I said, I have a vested interest as I own a company that fits and maintains a lot of very large scale systems, but I also have private CCTV system at my home and my office and a Police monitored system in the neighbourhood in which I live. It certainly doesn’t bother me that an operator at one of the CCTV Central Stations could, if he wished, figure out what time I go out each day and what time I come home, but, knowing how these monitoring stations actually work, I very much doubt whether that information would interest anyone in the slightest.
     
  6. I wonder how many soldiers have been accused of some misdemeanour of sorts, denied it. And with the CCTV evidence to back up that they didnt do it, proved they didnt do it. On the flipside how may have been caught.
     
  7. British policing, from the days of Peel to the introduction of useless "Unit Beat Policing" (otherwise known as driving around in panda cars in circles) in the 60s was on prevention, by having watchful eyes on the street, and cooperation between police, and the citizens they represented. Now, there is mistrust of the Police, they represent the State rather than the citizens (constitutional treason), and the emphasis is on "fire-brigade policing", i.e. waiting till something occurs then sending a unit. The watchful eyes on the street, and the fact that a copper would walk his beat constantly kept crime low, in particular the petty crime that plagues the estates now. I have read tons of stories about petty crime being performed in front of CCTV and witnesses, and when the witnesses report it, excuses about "poor quality" or "lack of resources" prevent it from being followed through.

    Yes, it helps secure convictions for serious offences, but imagine if all those CCTV operators and cops sitting in cars waiting for a call from said CCTV operators could be walking a beat? How many of these serious offences that CCTV gets convictions for could be actually prevented in the first place by a police presence on the streets? Peter Hitchens's "The Abolition of Liberty" has good discussions on this topic, and is enlightening in particular about claims of "manpower shortages" - there are far more police per capita now than 50 years ago, but far too much police time is spent on paperwork for the 1984 PACE act.
     
  8. I've also heard of mis-identifications of people in CCTV footage resulting in major probs for the innocent who was accused... "You say that isn't you in the footage - we think it is"...
     
  9. My answer to the survey would have been

    "CCTV useful, if used intelligently and combined with enough manpower to provide the necessary back up on the ground to deal with any observed crimes quickly"

    but then again I always was a dreamer. :twisted:

    CCTV alone doesnt do much good
     
  10. Well that's fine then AS but what about the rest of us? Personally, I find the widespread use of cctv in public places abhorrent. Who gives these people, companies, councils, government, the right to record images of me simply because I'm walking down a street or going shopping? Not me that's for sure. Fair play to you if you're making a living out of people's fears and authority's desire to control but it doesn't make it good or right.

    CNN missed an important point (but don't they always) about cctv. It may have helped convict the tossers but it didn't stop them from doing it. The thought that if they got caught they would be subjected to a diabolical death might have done but we're aren't allowed to consider that. Back to the old - don't punish the guilty, control the innocent, method of government.

    Being the cctv capiital of the world doesn't make me proud to be eng.... - er sorry - british.
     
  11.  
  12. Cluckin bell, I could be on here forever :D

    You have either been misinformed or the case against the "innocent" has no legal standing.

    Again, as any of the Police Officers on here will tell you, CCTV evidence comes in "categories" that any defence lawyer will measure with a very accurate ruler in order to prove unworthy.

    Basically, the only way that you can be convicted from CCTV evidence alone is if the "target" (i.e. you) fills 125% of the screen (stupid, I know) and that the magistrates or jury accept that it is actually you. This is category A evidence. The only convictions that I have ever seen from CCTV footage alone are those where the camera was of a PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) type and an operator had zoomed the camera picture right onto the criminals face.

    The Police will always try the old "well we've got footage and it's obvious that its you" ploy when this 125% rule isn't met and 99% of the time, if the person is guilty, they will then admit to it.

    Anything less than Category A evidence MUST be corroborated by another means such as witness statement, forensic evidence, a confession etc.

    So there you go :D
     
  13. I've also heard of mis-identifications of people in CCTV footage resulting in major probs for the innocent who was accused... "You say that isn't you in the footage - we think it is"...

    That particular example was from a guy accused of criminal damage in a car park in the US. I do, however, bow to your superior knowledge of UK CCTV law 8)
     
  14. thats odd, those number even beat the east germans for observation facilities per capita of the population, scared? no your probably watching eastenders and couldn't care less
     
  15. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Cheers for that Woops !

    :lol: :lol: :lol:


    Now I've got to lean the damn keyboard......again !

    Edit: ok, CLEAN the kbd !