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32mph in a 30 zone? Naughty naughty!

The big eye that's watching your every move. There are estimated to be around 5 million CCTV cameras in operation in the UK, though it's difficult to put an actual figure on them as they're constantly growing in number. It's said that there's a camera for every fourteen people, but as they increase it won't be long before it's one each - or more.

The average person is watched by up to three hundred cameras a day. Obviously this is not the case for those living in the wilds of Norfolk, but for those using the transport infrastructure or who live in the cities it's probably more. It's impossible to traverse the country without appearing on CCTV.

Needless to say, the rise of the camera has been sold to a largely apathetic public as a safety measure, either in the War on Crime or the War on Terror. Fat lot of use it is watching the video playback of people getting the shit kicked out of them or being blown up, but someone's got to keep late night TV supplied with material for Real Cops Action Camera.

In fairness there have been a few cases where CCTV had been used in a preventative context, but these are rare. Criminals and chav scrotes are generally not put off by CCTV. It is largely perceived to be policing on the cheap: the cameras exonerating the local authorities of having actual coppers on the beat.

But CCTV comes in to its own on the highways and byways of Merrie Ingerlund. One out of every three motorists in the UK have received fines to the tune of £800 million, two thirds of whom were caught on camera. In 2004 around 2 million motorist were stiffed in this way. A nice little earner for someone - whoever that may be?

Strangely it took a Labour government for CCTV to flourish and since the Celestial Navigator took power in 1997 there had been an increase in cameras at a whopping 615%... and rising. Someone has read 1984 by George Orwell and obviously mistaken it for a fucking instruction booklet. There can be no other explanation for this insidious surveillance culture.

Reality starts to sink in

... and now in to 2nd please.

After 4.2 million cameras had been installed it suddenly started to dawn on people that the damn things didn't prevent - or even help in solving crime.

Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, who heads a new database orientated unit trying to track offenders using CCTV, said that the system is '... an utter fiasco: only 3% of crimes were solved by CCTV'.

But according to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), CCTV has not failed and it '... has helped reduce crime in the capital'. [Yet more head-in-sand pig headedness meethinks] Article here.

Mysterious Malfunctions

Now there is hardly a wall, street corner or indeed pub front door without its CCTV camera. However bizarrely any time the Plod F up and kill someone innocent, there's NEVER any footage of it happening.

During the unlawful killing of Jean Charles De Menezes there was a mysterious malfunction of key cameras that would have either corroborated or sunk the police testimony. As it was the courts had to rely on obvious police hating passengers on the subway carriage who highlighted the lies ... err ... economic truths told by the gun toting police.

Coincidentally the incident that led to to the death of Ian Tomlinson at the 2009 G20 summit also has no footage of the event. There is footage of Tomlinson walking towards the police and staggering away but nothing else. It was only a member of public with his mobi phone camera capturing the event (in contravention of the new law forbidding photographing police officers - max 10 years in pokey) that brought the truth to light.

Funny that innit!

External Links

Daily Telegraph

The Independent

Worth reading.

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