The CCTV Channel - it was only a matter of time

A pilot scheme in Shoreditch in London has been launched recently and there have been half a dozen mentions of it on the BBC radio news. There’s also a video article on the BBC news players that can be seen here
Armchair CCTV

Basically the idea is that for a small subscription fee residents are allowed access to some of the feeds from CCTV cameras in their area. They are also provided with lists of people (inc. photos) presently serving Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (Asbos) and rewards are given to anyone who spots an Asbo-scally commiting a crime. The idea being to “put every member of the community in the front row of the fight against crime”. This is, of course, contradictory. Criminals are also from the community. They’re people too.

The thing is that I came up with this idea about 5 years ago, possibly around the time that whoever it was in the police or government first coined it. It’s not a particularly clever or original idea, I’m sure that some of you have thought of it too while musing on the notion of the panopticon. My problem with it is that it also enables criminals to know which spots are the most watched (in the pilot scheme, which may be extended to Hackney later in the year, one gets access to only 11 out of hundreds of cameras) and therefore avoid commiting crimes in and around those places. The natural reaction that we’ll see is a lowering of crime where the scheme is being piloted but a rise in crime directly outside of that area (on a camera-by-camera basis) and therefore a need to expand the scheme to every CCTV camera in Britain, which would be ridiculous.

So, what do you make of this? And do you have anything similar in your part of the world?

This is another ridiculous attempt at stoping crime, bringing us one step closer to an orwellian state.
It only makes sense that this would happen eventualy, apparently Britain has the most cameras per person. I think its about 1 camera for every 4 people.
Who in their right mind is gonna wanna watch this besides the paranoid prudeish neighbourhood watch types?

leftwing totalitarians will watch to make sure you don’t smoke or eat something they deem “bad” for you…


Perhaps, though in the Orwellian state the ‘watchers’ were middle class oppressors, not bored working class people on council estates.

This is completely inaccurate and probably the result of an urban myth. The figure suggested officially from the Urbaneye project is 1 camera for every 14 people, or a bit over 4 million cameras across the whole country and that was a very rough estimate based on a study of one area in London and applying those stats to the whole country (in my area it’s probably more like 1 for every 500 people), which is inaccurate.
The report ‘cctv in London’ page 21 is the relevant part

Bored people. Voyeurs wanting to spot people having indiscrete sex. Lonely wankers. Old people with nothing better to do. Teenagers wanting to spot their mates commiting acts of petty thuggery and vandalism. All sorts of people…

Yeah ok.

Without trying to appear an anarchist, the more you control, the more you have to control… There is no upper limit to governmental control and revolution is a change in controllers, not control.

The Orwellian state isn’t here yet, but it is the inevitable conclusion.

Well siatd you did see this coming…I’m still waiting on the CCTV shopping channel (loved that farcical idea):

“Look, she bought the no frills brand…what a cheap=o!”

It’s an absurd idea. Sure, it has some supposed practical and pragmatic aims in terms of ‘witnessing’ and ‘observing’ and thus reducing and increasing
the crime rate…it’s a ridiculous waste of resources once again!

Evidently human beings stopped witnessing crimes DECADES ago. Soon I surmise we will need robots to committ crime as well.

I’ll need think about this a bit more.

Oh! You forgot to mention the town gossip!