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Defending ‘Talking’ CCTV Cameras 2007-04-28

Posted by clype in Intolerance.
Tags: , , , , , ,

UK Home Secretary Mr.John Reid has denied plans to expand the use of ‘talking’ Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras across the country were ‘Big Brother gone mad’.

Loudspeakers are being fitted to cameras in 20 areas, allowing CCTV operators to bark commands at people committing anti-social behaviour. An existing scheme in Middlesbrough has been used to stop vandals and tell litterbugs to pick up their rubbish.

Council workers in a control centre can monitor pictures from 12 talking cameras in the town, and communicate directly with people on the street at the flick of a switch.

The scheme has been criticised by opponents as ‘Big Brother gone mad’.

But The Home Secretary insisted it was proven to work, and that the communities sharing nearly 500 000 GBP in grants to adapt cameras would feel the benefits.

‘This is a hugely popular scheme in Middlesbrough and the vast majority of the people here are right behind it,’ he said on the ITV breakfast show, ‘Good Morning Television’ (GMTV).

‘It helps counter things like litter through drunk or disorderly behaviour, gangs congregating; they are the sorts of things that make people’s lives a misery.

‘Anything that tackles that is better.

‘We want more police officers and we want more neighbourhood policing.

‘There are always people who will claim when we do that it’s a “police society”. It isn’t; it’s a society where the vast majority of law-abiding citizens are doing their utmost to respect each other.

‘There is always a minority and this is a way of trying to embarrass them — short of taking people to court — short of getting the police involved — to make sure it is a better local society.’



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