‘Orwellian’ CCTV in shires alarms senior police officer
· Benefits of wide-ranging surveillance questioned
· Deputy chief constable criticises DNA rules
Monday May 21, 2007
Britain risks becoming an “Orwellian” society as CCTV cameras spread to quiet villages with low crime levels, a senior police officer warned yesterday.
Ian Readhead, Hampshire’s deputy chief constable, said he did not want to live in a country where every street corner was fitted with surveillance devices.
And so, at long last, the penny drops.
Even THE POLICE in Britain do not want to live in a country that is a Police State.
You cannot make this stuff up.
He also criticised rules which meant DNA evidence and fingerprints could be kept for the rest of a teenager’s life once they have been arrested for an offence, even if they never get in trouble again, and said there was a danger that speed cameras were seen by the public as a revenue-generating process rather than a genuine effort to reduce casualties.
Everyone deserves a second chance. A country where everything you do is forever marked down against your ‘record’ is not a fit place for human beings. Even the Police, the group that supposedly all of this is being set up to aid, are against it.
What took them so long to come out and SAY ALL OF THIS?!
Mr Readhead highlighted the town of Stockbridge in Hampshire’s rural Test Valley, where parish councillors spent £10,000 installing CCTV, as an example of a situation where the benefits of surveillance were questionable.
Crime went up slightly in the town after the system was installed, Mr Readhead said, although between 2005 and 2006 there were only two violent crimes against people over 60 and no one was injured in either incident. “I have to question: does the camera actually instill in individuals a great feeling of safety and does it present serious offences taking place?” he said in an interview for the BBC’s Politics Show.
Like most people in the UK, these councillors are in the grip of a feverish mania; ‘Security Madness’. They have no understanding of security, what the difference between real security and Security Theatre is. They also clearly have no understanding of what a free country is, and do not value Britain for the country that it has been for generations.
There are plenty of these thick people about sadly, they all speak with the same type of voice, hold the same ignorant opinions and they all have the vote. Sadly.
“I’m struggling with seeing the deployment of cameras in our local village as being a benefit to policing; I understand why the local public say this is what we want, but I’m really concerned about what happens to the product of these cameras, and what comes next? If it’s in our villages – are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation with cameras on every street corner? I really don’t think that’s the kind of country that I want to live in.”
Bravo, at last.
Stockbridge parish council yesterday defended its decision to install CCTV, with its former chairman revealing that police and traders had each contributed £4,000 to the cost of installing the three surveillance cameras in the town.
David Baseley, who was parish council chairman for the past nine years, said he was amazed by Mr Readhead’s comments. “I think a lot of police would disagree with him, the police have paid for some of it and the police have been behind it,” he said. “We were concerned about the vulnerability of the place, although we haven’t had any real crimes.”
The weather used to be the mainstay of conversations in this great country, now, it is ‘security’. ‘Security’ and ‘Health and Safety’ permeate every thought and every corner of everything and every place, to the extent that you cannot even cook food because of “Health and Safety”.
This nauseating mania for everything to be rendered harmless, for every possible eventuality to be covered, to prevent all accidents, no matter what the cost is un-British, inhuman and TOTALLY INSANE.
There are an estimated 4.2m CCTV cameras in the UK.
Not for long there are.
On the retention of DNA evidence, Mr Readhead said: “My concern is this – we are in a society at the moment where the police have the power that if they arrest a 15-year-old for a recordable offence we can retain their DNA and their fingerprints.
“That information would be kept for life unless there were exceptional circumstances, such as it being proved that no crime was committed.
“My real worry is this. Fifteen years from now we are still holding that DNA and that arrest information – should we be doing that?” Mr Readhead asked. “Is it right that that may impede that person – who’s never been arrested again – from getting a job? I’m not sure that sits comfortably with me.”
Well, the question that comes next is, “WHat are you going to do about it Mr. Readhead?”.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, welcomed Mr Readhead’s comments: “Politicians like to present the police as ever hungry for more powers. Yet even the police are concerned that we are losing the value of privacy.”
The Police Federation’s vice-chairman, Alan Gordon, said he shared some of the concerns about the extent of CCTV use. “I have sympathy with members of the public who are not going to be committing crimes and feel they are being spied on. It should be down to consultation with people locally,” he said.
No it should not you imbecile.
The public spaces should not be surveilled, full stop. Surveillance does not prevent crime. In the many decades before the mania for ‘Security’ the crime rate in the UK was very much lower than it is today.
The causes of crime must be addressed. The Surveillance system must be dismantled, because it has destroyed the quality of life that we have in the UK.
Stockbridge’s wide high street has its roots in the ancient market town’s position on a drovers’ road that was once one of the south’s main east-west routes. Some 200 years later it was that same hub-like position – now the junction of the A30, A3057 and A3049 – that helped convince traders, fearful of outsiders raiding their shops and making a swift escape towards Salisbury, Andover, Winchester or Romsey, that they needed a CCTV system. The high street, with its tourist-friendly groceries, tea rooms, and antique shops, rarely suffers from yobbish youths loitering outside convenience stores.
The little crime there is consists largely of break-ins, and in 2004 the chamber of trade, police and local figures stumped up for three cameras. They have not led to any arrests, and crime has not been eradicated. Thieves broke into the Vine Inn in October to take cash from a fruit machine, and across the road the Co-op was targeted twice in a year. […]
And there you have it.
Gordon Brown, BACK DOWN!
Cancel the NIR.
Remove all CCTV from public spaces.
Return to non Biometric Passports.
Cancel the ID Cards scheme.
Repeal all Orwellian Blair era legislation.
Remove all Speed Cameras.
Dismantle the Congestion Charging system in London.
and by all means, you can add to this list yourself.