– My Liberties and the CCTV bombardment-
I am 6ft 3 inchs tall, clean shaven, semi attractive (kind of), usually dressed smartly, with Italian style shoes, carrying a flat black ‘man bag’ on my shoulder. I’m walking with purpose doing my own business in my local town. I’ve been on hundreds of CCTV’s throughout the UK, just like everyone else. Do I feel safe? No, Do I feel less liberated? Yes, because I’m on CCTV. I’ve no wish to be on TV. Otherwise I would have applied to get my spotty bum seen on Big Brother. At least they get paid to appear on the show.
I don’t want my movements to be known visually by any sweat-room surveillance team. Who are they? They must feel enpowered by seeing what the rest of us are far too busy surviving, by working running around on a daily basis without a thought, ‘busy’ so ‘very busy’.
It is Big Brother, a ‘nanny’ state in which we are induced to living in. We have decent choices in our civilization. – In the modern world, but to me liberties are taken from normal lives. Generations before us never would believe that the use of 24 hour surveillance team would be used in a democratic state, watching, recording, filing, available for corrupt practices for cash purposes, all for the treasury, all to help US the viewed public to be safer walking the streets. The CCTV practice is still a relatively new regulation for police teams. In the HO (Home Office) CCTV regulations are in place for an allegedly safer state. Though most local police teams do not know what that is exactly. Communications through the many office governing members break-down. We the public feel that a bureaucratic formula is in-place for a government cash fest that is compromising civil liberties and CCTV is the vehicle in which vast forms of cash corruption will breed without too much problem.
It is happening already, with congestion demands being sent to the wrong people on a daily basis. I’ve read sad story that a 85 year old man had a demand sent to him and he hasn’t driven for 5 years. His car was rusting in the garage and was being collected for scrap metal that same week. It is so evident that the congestion charge are handed out to random addresses without secondary checks. I’m in favour of a good reliable system that is fair to individuals such as the Congestion Charge; which supposedly photographic evidence is picked up by the CCTV camera. If used properly it will be effective, However, I feel not, and here is why?
It is no surprise, nor co-incidence that with the ever-ready amount of new media technology available that is simple enough to use for anyone’s great uncle and granddad, that image manipulation allegedly is introduced to help surveillance teams hit their targets. It is illegal, but who would know. No other governing body has this information other than surveillance Police units, unless a whistle blower steps forward and produces the evidence and a case is announced.
There is a major problem in the UK within the Police/Crime sector that by introducing targets increases internal corruption. It has been well documented that due to the government lead ‘target’ system the UK force are unable to operate properly. It is impossible to incorporate a ‘target system’ and think that it will work more efficiently. CCTV will be able to help the backlog of cases with the help of digital media so that Police forces/teams targets are made. It would be interesting whether in that sector there has been an increase of Multi-media sales since the introduction of CCTV. I know that there has been – How I know is that you require an editing suite to actually view the CCTV digital media format on a monitor, to chop and change digital media data, collect the media data, store the data, and compress 1000’s of hours of data, into manageable files. All for future reference.
Constant terror threats are sadly part of life. The worry of another 7/7 is with all of us on a daily basis. It is on our televisions in the papers, stating that another 7/7 will be with us. Is all this propaganda a smoke screen for yet an increasing Big Brother society? Surely, even in 2005 with incredulous amount of multi-media and CCTV technologies, 7/7 should not have happened. Where was the protection surveillance team that day? It astounds me that CCTV could pick up clear pictures of the bombers after the event itself. This leads me to believe that they were watching the event unfold but yet were powerless to anything that could happen. Proof to me that the only way forward to stop acts such as 7/7 is to completely reform a law that is not within the public domain so that security teams can do their jobs more efficiently. Old-fashioned law reforms are stopping these types of threats therefore stalling progress on all fronts of credible intelligence.
At the moment, two years on I don’t feel anything has changed. The CCTV cameras are there but do not have any substance or clout for this type of public protection. CCTV has been installed to ‘protect public safety’; or so the authorities say. I’m not so sure. The UK public have not risen up against this intrusive method of surveillance. The public are unaware of how intrusive the CCTV camera are to ‘normal’ living. The number of close circuit camera’s in operation are not known, but I hasten to guess that all major town centres every corner is exposed to the surveillance team. Long gone are the big obvious tube like camera – with the help of ‘nano technologies’ they are very small and compact. Nano technologies’ were originally planned for camera’s and visual storage files. The camera is the most understood among all technologies, so in a ‘nut-shell’, the size of camera is no object, nor how powerful it can be. What is now possible would have James Bond’s ‘Q’ in trouble ;
“OK James what we have here is a – where is it? Stop playing games 007”.
We all know that normal CCTV surveillance has been with us for a very long time, initially in banks and post-offices and many public events. I could understand this completely. I can see the role that the CCTV provided. Now it’s gone all a little MI5 like. I know that I’m being watched, but yet do not have a clue where they all are.
For the sake of this review I did attempt to go a stage further to report on this CCTV facade and wanted to provide you the reader more information; for example: What is the average number of CCTV units there are in an average town? Where does all the data go? Can all the data evidence guarantee a criminal conviction? This was the plan. I tried to get some credible material from my local Police station.
Sadly, I was confronted with a ‘stony faced’ brick wall. What I did find that has made me very curious that above the police station is an active CCTV surveillance team working flat out, I assume they were watching me, listening to my exasperating conversation with a ‘stony faced’ help desk staff member. (She would of given Jeremy Paxman a run for his money) Her attitude alone – conveyed the whole police forces attitude. The police do not want ‘us’ the public to know what CCTV camera does and what the cameras capabilities are. It was as if I had flashed in front of her in a judges’ wig. Don’t get me wrong I understood that most of the material is confidential – It is also in the public’s interest to know where the CCTV cameras are so they feel safer. Why are they so tiny? This leads me to believe they are not there to protect the public but are a vehicle for the local police own rewards and to do as they see fit.
Recent media cases such as the flashing judge who got off from a conviction for flashing his ‘crown jewel bulges’, is an odd case to say the least. Evidence by mobile phone video was used in court instead of CCTV coverage (that would have all the vital statistical evidence any judge would be proud of for a conviction) The CCTV was apparently not in use. Not only that 3 more people have now confirmed the flashing judge had indeed done it to them too. I can only assume that the CCTV evidence of this strange act will mysteriously go missing on all indecent occasions. What does look evident is the actual use of the CCTV proof as it clearly depends on who is in the dock. What is very evident concerning Princess Diana; on that dreadful night of 31st August 1997, the CCTV camera on top of that infamous tunnel was not working. Co-incidence? Well no-one knows, or has come forward.
The fact is by having all this camera technology certainly is not a means of protecting the public, it is even questionable whether petty theft has decreased on the streets. If it did not help President Bush keep hold of his watch on his recent walk-about in Albania for example. It certainly is not going to help ‘joe public’.
CCTV has to be seen to be working ‘for the protection of the public’ at the moment I’ve witnessed it is not regarded as a protector but a police form of unacceptable voyeurism stroke ‘cash cow’ for police targets and government treasury.
Thank you for reading this review. I’m happy to answer any questions.
Summary: Close Circuit TV Review.. My findings