Since starting this blog, I have repeatedly hinted at examples of the significant missuse and pointlessness of CCTV, never mind it’s significant breach of personal privacy and sense of space. Those who support it have to date, completely failed to prove it has any use or that it isn’t misused.
Whilst I spend my life thinking about, designing and developing cool technology, and would prefer to spend my time on those subjects, it has been real world experiences that shocked me into writing about matters beyond my regular remit and education. The first was several years ago when I drove into Putney, London, taking a left of Putney High Street to park on a minor road. I pulled in on the left and parked in a legal spot. I then went about my business.
A few days later I received a penalty charge notice from the council to say that I had driven up a one way street. Apparently, (and a first for me), the small side road was one way, and yet I had not noticed the signs. (I drove back and they were tiny and I photographed them.) Fair enough, I had made an error, that on a main road could have been dangerous. But it wasn’t the fact I was not even being given a chance to explain (a separate issue) that stunned me into disbelief, it was the fact that to backup their claims, they presented a series of colour thumbnail photos showing my car driving up Putney High Street, PRIOR to me making the left turn.
The issue is, why was my car being photographed or video recorded prior to an offence or alleged offence?
If they had presented a photo of my car in the parking space, that would have been understandable.
This was a huge breach of privacy and made me think, how much of our vehicular travels (and even pedestian travel) is recorded?
So I began to sit up, take notice and blog accordingly.
I have mentioned this above incident before, so I’ll move onto the matter of the day…
Whilst taking a break from work just now, I read that the authorities have released CCTV footage of a little girl the day she was murdered. It shows her in a leisure centre. There is more footage of the accused too. Which begs the question, why was a leisure centre recording young children going about their day? Who watches the video? And even if it isn’t being viewed, why was it kept for so long!? To be perfectly frank, why are their cameras in leisure centres, hotels and other locations where people are going about their privacy business?
If it was because there had been a spate of thefts and they were trying to catch the thief, and the police installed a temporary camera (as they did on my father’s premises once, and caught the thief too), that is understandable – it is a limited time installatio and monitored by no one until the next crime, and then used to catch the criminal, removed and no doubt erased after prosecution.
It seems that the UK is full of creepy people, but it’s not the ones who commit the crimes that are the issue (there will always be creeps), it is the fact that we are ALL obviously being recorded – in colour – as my own Putney experience and the footage of the little girl show.
The fact is, the CCTV didn’t stop the crime, and it never will, because unless the authorities install cameras everywhere, back allys, foot paths – and even monitor the cameras connected to some contemporary TVs, the criminals will simply choose a camera free location! And if the cameras are hidden, that is even worse, because then we won’t know we’re being recorded, yet another major breach of privacy, trust and sense of space.
All said, what should be of concern is not the above, it is the total capitulation of the British public and now after the Boston bombings, the Americans too, to this dystopian behavior whose motives are sinister and worrysome.
Image credit: The Geek Hideout
I have already written about my experience in Oxford where I came across an innocent young lad laying in a pool of his own blood after being assaulted in public. A homeless man then cradled the lads head and I called 999 for an ambulance. They then put me through to the police whose response summed up just how useless this country has become. “Yeh mate, we’re watching it all on CCTV.” My mental response involved expletives, but was tempered to “Well, it may be better you get out here onto the street ASAP.” (5 minutes later the ambulance and police arrived, and I left upset and appalled.)
A few months later, I witnessed and photographed 9 police officers pulling over a significant number of cars off St. Giles for exceeding the pointless on that area of road 20mph speed limit. No police officers patrolling the heart of a city that lives on drugs and alcohol, but plenty making a nice little earner for the council from innocent hard working motorists, taxi cab full of passengers included. (The aforementioned photo is on a prior VA post.)
In other news today, UKIP have shocked the UK government and Lib Dems. I wonder why?
Because as this blog has been screaming for years, Britain has become a repulsive cowardly greedy dystopian illusion, sugar coated with vast debt and state run pomp that fools everyone into believing everything is just peachy, when it is certainly not, even if the sun is out and smartphones are amazing. Whilst I didn’t vote today because I’ve lost faith in the lot of them, this national weakness and subservience to technology, ‘health and safety’, ‘human rights’ (hah!) and for profit law and order has ruined the country and people have rightfully had enough, so are pushing the HELP! button and praying for change.
The bottom line is that all this is going to end in tears, and that is a major understatement. Hate to toot my trumpet, but the record will show that Vision Aforethought has been spot on every time, and whilst it would be great to be right when it comes to positive predictions and analysis, on this issue, I so hope for everyone’s sake I’m wrong, whether it be because those in charge undo the eradication of common sense on their own – or people revolt and rip it all out by force if necessary.
Fight back club: Looks like it’s started!
Above I refer to having photographed some police pulling over motorists in Oxford, an act itself that could be viewed as being a breach of privacy. However, a) They saw me taking the photo and did not object. b) I blurred out all faces and number plates before publishing the image. c) The original photo is secure on my hard drive and inaccessible to anyone else, and in fact, could be deleted. However, I believe what I witnessed was both morally and legally questionable and needed proof before I commented on the matter. I did not take the photo BEFORE the incident, only during!
Oh, and one more thing, why are young people who don’t know better allowed to use social media? It’s a toxic, nasty medium in the wrong or immature hands.