07 11 2001
CCTV Boom in UK
by World-Information.Org

++ Surveillance Cameras Undermine Privacy ++ Links ++

Recently the UK Government has approved nearly 250 new CCTV schemes across England and Wales. The Euro 125 million investment is the largest single Government allocation of CCTV money to date. It will enable thousands of cameras to be installed and target residential areas, shopping centers, transportation networks, car parks, hospital sites and other public spaces. The argument for the set up of additional CCTV systems is combating crime. Home Office Minister John Denham, who has the overall responsibility for crime reduction, stated in a news release: “CCTV has repeatedly proved its effectiveness in the fight against crime and the fear of crime.” Yet the Home Offices’ last official studies on the effects of CCTV date from 1997. Also, recent crime rates do not support the thesis that CCTV helps to reduce crime, but rather suggests its displacement.

Still, the spending on new CCTV technology is continually growing in the UK. In the bigger cities already today one has to reckon with being videotaped up to 300 times a day. This leads to strong objections from privacy advocates. But these represent only a minority and official concerns are hardly voiced. The Government’s silence in the face of privacy questions is even more worrying as the police’s CCTV activities are scarcely subject to any regulation. Moreover, there exists no independent body that controls the surveillants. Rather the police are in charge of controlling themselves against potential abuse. Promoted by politicians and police as primary solution for urban dysfunction the use of CCTV without proper safeguards questions the individuals’ right to privacy and data protection.


++ LINKS ++

₤97m CCTV Investment to Aid Crackdown on Crime (UK Home Office)
>>> http://wood.ccta.gov.uk/homeoffice/hopress.nsf...

10 Reasons Why Public CCTV Schemes Are Bad (Privacy International)
>>> http://merlin.legend.org.uk/~brs/cctv/tenreasons.html

Source: http://world-information.org/wio/readme/992021819