The surveillance of assailants if that’s what you wanna call it (Tom Waits)

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It was reported today that CCTV is responsible for solving 3% of street crime – which by the admission of the police is pathetic.  And even more so since there is more surveillance via CCTV in the UK than any other country in Europe. According to the CANS programme yesterday there is one CCTV camera for every 14 people. Which by my calculation means that there are more CCTV cameras than geodemographic units of households at the highest level.  Not only is this supervision useless because police aren’t organised and can’t be bothered to sit down and look at all that footage. But street crime goes on at the same levels because there is a general assumption that the cameras are not working/not being used so the cameras aren’t a deterrent. So how do we measure the background radiation levels of knowing that we are always being watched. And if it isn’t making us safer then why have we as a civilised society tolerated this imposition without challenge?

The police of course are embarassed about this. Are they proposing to remove the cameras? Of course not – they are redoubling their efforts and propose to post films of ‘suspects’ on the internet. Hang on a second I thought you had to be convicted first in a court of law?  I leave you with an enduring image from the festival yesterday. Vultures.

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