Friday, 18 December 2009


The number of town hall-controlled Big Brother CCTV cameras has trebled in a decade, it emerged last night.

There are now 60,000 cameras trained on members of the public by council snoopers - one for every 1,000 people in the UK.  The huge increase has cost hundreds of millions of pounds, including at least £170million in Home Office grants - although there are doubts over whether the cameras actually help catch criminals.  Many images are so poor they cannot be used to identify violent thugs, while police have admitted as few as one crime is solved for every 1,000 cameras.



Don't Call Me Dave said...


My company owns commercial properties across the UK (excluding Scotlandshire). One parade of shops in the north west of England was constantly plagued by mindless vandalism which was costing our tenants a fortune in repairs. It was also very intimidating for customers and staff alike. In conjunction with the local council, we installed CCTV which covered our shops and the local library.

Overnight, the problem was solved although, in reality, all we have done is moved the problem elsewhere. I am sure the yobbos are now vandalising someone else’s property.

For us, the cameras proved to be an effective deterrent against crime. Politically, cameras are popular with the public who see them as “bobbies on the beat”. The public want more Police on the street even though the statistics suggest that this does not reduce crime. But it does give people a sense of security, which is why politicians are keen to be seen to be doing something.

I realise that my comments will appear somewhat hypocritical as I consider myself a libertarian Conservative, but I don’t think that all cameras are bad. The problem is caused where they are installed without justification or the data captured is misused. We do not keep copies of images for longer than a few days before the disks are wiped and, indeed, nobody even monitors the images unless a crime is reported to us and the police ask to see them.

The Government brought in RIPA as an anti terrorism measure, but councils misused the Act to snoop on the public for all kinds of “offences”. In the same way, CCTV images are being abused by local authorities. There needs to be much stronger regulation as to the purpose of CCTV surveillance.

1984 said...

The cameras are just a symptom of a disintegrating society. Crime has gotten out of control and we don't have the police or sentencing to stop it. The more cameras in society the more we have lost control. Dave above is right. Cameras just move crime somewhere else.
The only logical conclusion is of course a camera outside every building and house so we have constant monitoring of every square inch of the country. Then they would have to be installed in houses as people would only feel safe outside.
All cameras could be removed overnight if someone took control of the judiciary. Spend the billions spent on CCTV and monitoring on prisons. Put the criminals in there and never let them out again after 3 crimes ( it started in America).

wee boaby said...

I think the fact that no decent cctv images or film has ever emerged from the 7/7 and 21/7 attacks and the Ian Tomlinson and Charles De Menenez murders suggests a political aswell as a police control is in force on the cctv.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Fred, thanks for you very interesting and detailed comment. I don't have a problem with the cameras perse, the problem arises with what you do with the film. First of all it moves the problem elsewhere but that is not the ccctv owner's fault, that is society's. I don't know if you ever watch the TV series 'Spooks'. On that they can trace someone moving across London on cctv. Now I know that is a TV drama, but they must have got the idea from somewhere and I don't like the fact that I can be watched 24/7, although if I was mugged I'm sure I'd be glad the cameras were there. So it's really from a totalitarian 1984 type suspicion that makes me dislike CCTV.

Dark Lochnagar said...

1984, if you read my reply to Fred above you'll see that I am coming from exactly the same direction as you. We don't seem able to control career criminals as they do in the States, three and you're out sounds good to me.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Boabs, you're right it depends what is done and who does it with the images captured. You still see them with no ID badges on their uniform, they were doing it up here when there was a SDL/EDL march not so long ago.

INCOMING!!!!!!! said...

DL from what I've seen of their managers and operators they couldn't care if you are being skelped over the scone with a lead pipe, no money.

Shagging up a close inra-red makes money.

That's why Hitler couldn't be bothered. We are shit NaZoviets.

banned said...

What wee boaby said.
Who watches the watchers?

Time we launched a "wave at the pretty cameras" campaign!

Dark Lochnagar said...

INCOMING!!!!! I fear you may be right. It must be fucking boring watching a bank of twenty tellies all day, even if there is a bit of shagging going on.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Banned, I know what I'd wave at the bastards!

wee boaby said...

Dundee is 3rd in the UK for the number of cameras per head and the results are obvious. Old grannies mugged in quiet schemes away from the cameras. Lowlifes just go for the easy option.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Boaby, they should be made to wear one on their heads like a miner's lamp in Dundee. Christ, even the alsatians go around in pairs. :-)