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back to article Info chief slaps Met on CCTV in pubs

The Met Police got a short sharp rap over the knuckles yesterday, as the Office of the Information Commissioner questioned what looks very much like a blanket policy to force CCTV onto public houses in certain parts of London. The story begins with a letter to the Guardian last week, from Nick Gibson. He is currently renovating …

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Black Helicopters

Fucking Hell

This really scares the shit out of me. How can we stop this creep of powers?

How about a CCTV icon?

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Black Helicopters

Doesn't this make all bar tenders criminals

Judging from the story the other day:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/12/pap_the_police/

Every time someone from the Police or Armed forces entered this hostelry the pub owner would be gathering information likely to be useful to terrorists. I.E. Where the rozzers like to relax.

Just a thought.

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Black Helicopters

Raise a pint to the police state

Funny how the police want to stop their members being photographed and videoed but when it comes to us they want carte blanche powers as per the Police Can Do What They Bloody Well Like Act 2009.

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Who watches the watchers?

So let me get this straight - It is now not permissable to film the police but it is mandatory that normal citizens are filmed everywhere they go.

Now THAT is arse-backwards.

The police are public servants. They are supposed to act purely in the interests of the British people and are funded by our taxes, but we arent allowed to film them at protests and suchlike to ensure that they are doing what they are supposed to. However they are demanding that we are recorded continuously all the time in case we do something we shouldn't. I really have had enough of this shit.

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Anonymous Coward

nice

CCTV in every pub, then CCTV directional microphones just to make sure no darkies talk about things they arn't supposed to.

Doesn't suprise me in the slightest, the bootboys want to see everything all the time, not so much so they can make anyone safer but just so they can prove a point when they have a whim.

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Unhappy

from a Drapers drinker

Until it closed for renovations, I drank and ate regularly in the Drapers (won't digress into whether it should have an apostrophe). A more north-Londoney gastropub you couldn't wish to find. Rather spotless, quietly camp, set well off Liverpool Road in a quiet and rather posh N1 square, it's the last place you would ever expect trouble, and neither could I see it ever being a haven for drug dealing. So I can't see any public-interest justification for knowing who goes in and out. Just so readers know, in case they were wondering, this is nowhere near a football ground or even a main street. It's the precise opposite of the sort of pub you might expect to be a 'trouble' pub - as you might reasonably wonder if you read this article and didn't know the area.

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Silver badge

Best bit in the Guardian article

'Gibson spoke to his MP, Emily Thornberry, whose offices are on the same street. But she said the right of residents not to become victims of crime overrode his concerns. "My priority is the safety of local residents and if a camera at the pub helps, then I think it should be supported."'

From Wikipedia: 'Thornberry was educated at the University of Kent at Canterbury where she studied law, and practised as a barrister specialising in human rights from 1985 to 2005'

On the evidence so far, I don't think she was very good at being a human rights lawyer.

The good news is that the android MP for Islington South and Finsbury is sitting on a majority of only 484.

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Unhappy

Un-be-fucking-leivable!

So they only appear interested in getting, what is to all intents and purposes, a 'mug-shot' of everyone entering the premises. No apparent interest, it would seem, in any CCTV of the interior of the pub, which would show any 'crime' being committed.

As for the mealy-mouthed, toeing-the-party-line response from his MP!

Check out her voting record at;

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/emily_thornberry/islington_south_and_finsbury#votingrecord

What more can you add there?

Is that the faint sound of Jack-Boots I can hear?

Welcome to NuLabouria. "Papers, Citizen!"

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Unhappy

but does it?

"We recognise that CCTV plays an important role in the prevention and detection of crime, and can help to reduce crime in areas of high population density, such as city boroughs"

Everybody talking about CCTV always put that disclaimer in, before talking about surveillance society... But, does it?

I remember seeing a lot of studies that seem to be saying the opposite. So why always say "it is useful but take care..." rather than "it is very likely to be useless, hence..."?

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Black Helicopters

"and make those images available to police upon request"

Obviously Never heard of Data Protection Laws..

Oh this is the same people who didn't understand Phorm. I see..

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Black Helicopters

Big Brother

Will see you now.

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Black Helicopters

The Inner Party...

...absolutely requires that members of the Outer Party keep tabs on the Proles. What's the problem with photographing them as they sip their Victory gin and eat their black bread?

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Stop

That's Illegal !

If you photograph everyone coming into a pub then, sooner or later, you are going to photograph a policeman. It's illegal to photograph policeman, in case terrorists learn what Policemen look like. Looks like we are going to have to ban Policemen from any area where there is CCTV, in case they are photographed.

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CCTV cameras don't work

If you compare the number of cameras to the increase in the number of arrests and convictions, they have contributed probably nothing of significance to the statistics. Sure, on those Booze Britain police shows, you probably see the sum total of all incidents where the rozzers catch someone seen on CCTV.

Let's face it - July 7th 2007.....CCTV cameras allowed us to see what some dead terrorists looked like. No prevention, just contribution to history.

Is it worth it to blanket the place with more of the things? And add that the police can have the feed without a warrant, it seems?

We need a new home secretary. That just needs an election.

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Liars

The Met are lying, conniving control freaks who believe they have a divine right to instruct people who to go about their legitimate affairs. They're supported by a Government that blatently disregards any notion for the right of indivudal freedom or liberty. They're all mad, and I have nothing but contempt for them.

Sadly the Met in it's current form, along with HM Government, remain in a position of power as the citizen is either ignorant, uncaring or confused about their disgraceful behaviour to bring about a change for the better.

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Boffin

Install it then oops it broke

or someone sprayed paint on it and we didn't notice

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welcome to....(drum roll please maestro)

Wacki Jaqui's Panopticon O' Fun..... Delightful that the met have awarded themselves these powers and comical the weasel way they try to back away from the idea whilst still fronting up in a pugnacious fashion.

Wonderful..... really

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Is this new?

I have friends who run a nightclub and it's a condition of their licence that no-one is allowed to wear hooded tops or peaked caps inside the building in order to ensure that the police can get good face shots on CCTV.

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Stop

absurd

This is bloody absurd, first they take away the priviledge to smoke in pubs (don't start that argument again!) which has greatly reduced the income of many pubs, now they want mugshots of all the people who go to them.

Why not just close pubs down altogether, after all the police don't like it when the general public congregrate into groups to have fun do they? as demonstrated by the introduction of The Criminal Justice Bill...

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Black Helicopters

Islington not the only ones...

We work for bars and clubs in Westminster and in Camden.

And the "must have CCTV or you aren't having a licence" policy is the same.

One of them (Camden I think) also requires the CCTV recordings to be kept for at least 30 days.

Whether this is a legal requirement or not I couldn't tell you - but in many areas (Westminster esp.) it is Police policy to oppose all licence applications / variations if they deem the area a "high pressure zone" - irrespective of the merits / specifics of the application.

1 client told the conversation went like this:

Licence Holder: We'd like to get a variation on our licence

Police: We object

LH: ok - what's the objection?

P: It's policy to object

LH: Even if there's nothing to specifically object about?

P: It's policy to object

(repeat)

Anyway.. this sort of attitude means that all venue owners will put in the CCTV irrespective of whether it's a legal requirement or not, because not doing so is likely to "displease" the licensing committee and losing / not getting a license variation could be a very expensive problem...

Although I wouldn't worry about the CCTV in pubs etc anyway.

The quality is usually rubbish, half the cameras don't work half the time, and unless it's a really serious assault (or worse), the police won't gather / watch hours of CCTV

(I've offered to courier them the HDD from the recorder so they can get the footage themselves in the past and the answer was "no thanks we don't have the ability to do that".)

if it's anything not life threatening - then the process is so slow, that a venue won't even get a request for the CCTV for several weeks (by which time it might well have been overwritten)

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Mind boggling...

I note from that article in the Guardian that the landlord raised this issue with Emily Thornberry, the local Labour MP and was told, astonishingly, that the right of residents not to become victims of crime overrode his concerns.

Presumably the right of residents to be presumed innocent is also similarly over-ridden!

She also said there was a problem with antisocial behaviour in the area and that the majority of residents were in favour of more CCTV cameras.

I wonder if these are the same people who keep coming up to Wacky Jacqui in the street demanding ID cards?

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Black Helicopters

Yet another reason

To stay in.

Smoking ban - so you have to freeze yer crackers off outside

Shite music in most venues

Crowded by pissed up idiots who think that a curly wig is the height of wit.

Spending a sizeable portion of the evening waiting to get drinks / have a piss

Incredibly expensive (£2.50 a shot for "premium" spirits = £75 a bottle FFS!!!)

And now the "benefit" of being on Plod.tv.

And people wonder why I'd rather spend my evenings playing poker with a few good buddies, with a stogie in mouth, bottle of Jack Daniels to hand, with some music we like playing in the background.

(or am I getting old? I dunno.)

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Flame

Hurrah for the ICO

Hurrah for the ICO. Saw this in the Grauniad last week and wept. And worse, Nick Gibson's MP, Emily Thornberry (Lab), seemed to think plod's scheme was a splendid idea because of "anti social behaviour in the area." Surely the answer to anti social behaviour is not to spend billions on ID cards we neither need nor want, useless and intrusive databases and CCTV (and worse again, get private citizens to pay for and install the CCTV for you), but to spend a tiny fraction of the money on putting more plod on the streets so they can give the little scrotes a good clip round the ear and send them home. Worked when I were a lad, but probably not so well today when all the little scrotes seem to be armed and dangerous. I'm not going to pursue this one.

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Black Helicopters

Don't need genealogy...

Obviously the Met emplos the bastard love child of Whacky Jacqui & Lord Mandelson......

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Coat

Mine's the one with

the extra large hood and balaclava in the pocket...

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Anonymous Coward

Corruption

There is law laid out, and all this arbitrary subjective interpretation is worse than racism.

Should use this depression to reduce the size of the police force, and only employ those who really care about up holding ethical law.

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Stop

Why am I suddenly reminded...

...of an old Monty Python sketch about a guy building a boat in his basement?

I mentioned this sketch to a British friend of mine once, and he filled me in on something closely related that was -- at least at the time -- popular in Britain, which was for guys to trick out their basements to resemble a pub, complete with a wet bar, so they could invite their friends over to watch a football game and play the part of the bartender, serving up the beer for his buddies. (We do this 'basement bar' thing to an extent in the States, but it's apparently not quite as involved as in Britain)

So, now I'm wondering... because of this, might there soon be an upswing in the popularity of these guys' houses with the "fake" pubs built into the basements -- in the manner of 1920s American "speakeasies" -- as folks would be free to visit these "underground pubs" without having to surrender a fingerprint and a face shot at the door?

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Unhappy

from a regular...

Before it closed for the refit, I was a regular drinker/eater in The Drapers (I'll leave the question of an apostrophe out of this). It's a typical n. London gastropub, rather immaculate, slightly camp and in a quiet and very posh N1 square well behind Liverpool Road or Upper Street, and about a mile away from any of the footy pubs around Arsenal. You know the kind of place - couples on a Sunday with the papers spread out on large wooden tables and sofas, and dinner on the way. I can't imagine it being a place you could deal drugs, either. So hardly the kind of 'trouble' pub where you might expect there to be some preventative/detection value in trialing CCTV, in case you were wondering. The antithesis of it, in fact.

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Anonymous Coward

Typical of the police

The police pretty much said they can't do anything for our apartment block 'cos we didn't have CCTV, which everyone agreed to have installed. I looked like a loon when I tried to lay out the reasons against it. I was asking questions like would that money be better spent elsewhere, pointing out CCTV doesn't stop crime, but merely records a blurry image of it as it happens. Nevertheless, I am now recorded as I walk around the apartment complex, we haven't had to use the CCTV for six months, and we have a bunch of idiot residents who think the CCTV is preventing crime.

Back on topic: the police want it all on a plate. They don't care about engaging with a community, talking to people etc (what I would consider proper policing). They want to see you on CCTV, compare your DNA and pack you off to court where they'll perjure themselves silly to get a conviction.

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Hope the wife can't see it!

This is an appalling intrusion, and yet another example of our descent to a police state where we are encouraged to sneak on each other.

I fear it is nearly too late to prevent this.....

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Unhappy

We Are Being Watched -- Constantly

Walk into most shops -- you are on camera, walk down the street you are on camera, walk into a bank you are certainly on camera, in your workplace you are likely to be on camera -- why should pubs be any different ?

Welcome to the surveillance society!

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CCTV

...proved to be absolutely inefficient in crime prevention and only a negligible number of crimes can be solved basen on CCTV footage. However, having such a shitload of CCTVs installed already who really cares about an additional one?

But I shouldn't get all excited over this stark nonsense now because it's pub o'clock! And by that I mean a pub without nasty surveillence equipement.

ea

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Black Helicopters

F*ck off

No really.

F*ck off.

This is just the next wave of "you're all dangerous criminals and need to be watched constantly". Enough now. The pub is a sanctuary, we are not all violent scumbags and we're not all comfortable with being recorded wherever we go.

You can't even blame this on terrorism as the terrorist threat is (currently) linked to extremists of a non-drinking faith.

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Coat

Yet another statement of the Bleedin' Obvious

"This sentiment was echoed by Chris Huhne, Lib Dems Spokeman for the Bleedin' Obvious, who added: "The impression is that CCTV is a panacea for preventing crime but the evidence for this is far from conclusive."

Actually Chris it's kinda been proved that CCTV does dick for the crime figures.

I mean, come on, is anyone even remotely suprised? Anyone? Anyone at all? Yet another reason for avoiding London. Shame really, there's a couple of decent pubs there.

Mine's the one with the Groucho Marx disguise in the pocket.

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Move along...

Nothing to see here - the Police will always pursue more power regardless of whether or not it's really justified - it's just the way they are.

More worringly though, this Government will always pursue more statutory authority at all costs.

Guess who's pulling the strings here?

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Stop

CCTV madness

There will come a time where one half of Britain is watching the other half on CCTV.

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Not big brother

No - just a load of little brothers.

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The Revolution Starts at Closing Time

This is maybe linked to the Times story saying that drinkers will have their benefits cut unless they 'fess up to their evil ways.

"New powers will allow for individuals who apply for jobseeker’s allowance to be forced to take compulsory alcohol tests if officials do not believe what they say about their drinking habits. Those who refuse to cooperate could be deprived of the benefit for six months. Officials will also be able to check the truth of applicants’ answers through other agencies, such as the police."

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5734110.ece

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IT Angle

CCTV - Prevention or Solution?

Dear oh dear, MPS. But then, if the police had said we're only going to support the issue of a licence provided that the bar employ trained door staff would there be an issue? But our evil governmental overloads couldn't misuse door staff to invade our privacy and keep a record of... what pub we go to.

Scepticism is healthy, we should wonder why the authorities want information and what they'll do with it. But do people really think there's some Colonel Saunders lookalike in a room full of monitors WATCHING all the various cameras around the place? Any plod will tell you that AFTER an incident CCTV is used to identify those responsible more accurately than "a guy... in a shirt... who i wouldn't recognise if i saw again"

Maybe we should have some signs that say "CCTV is NOT operating in this area. If you are beaten up or mugged there is probably no point reporting it to the police unless you know your attacker"

Anon, because "they" might be watching

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Stop

Privacy is vital

This is a great example of how we could be trapped by surveillance before we even know it's happening. The information commissioner is failing miserably at his job, I get the distinct impression even he doesn't know what's going on. Like CCTV, ID cards and new biometric passports they have us over a barrel, with absolutely no discussion as to how, why and when they're implemented. I for one have just about had enough and because I had no say in the direction my govt, has gone in my only choice will end up being civil disobedience.

We have to stop this now, before it is too late.

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Joke

Think of the children

Oh never mind...they won't be going in for a drink anyway....

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Good news

The sooner we get national ID cards, have an ID chip injected under the skin, have all our mobile phones tracked by the police and linked to the ID register, similar arrangements for our vehicles, and possibly start wearing tracking tags as used by prisoners on early release, the better - we can stop having these stupid arguments about 'big brother', 'police state' and 'civil liberties', and get on with life, whilst accepting the realities of the technological revolution - we're all on the grid now, after all.

I for one am totally prepared to do all of this on the condition that we get Lara Lewington doing a weather forecast naked each evening on television.

Pint anyone?

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Happy

30 years too late !

My brothers and I used to "frequent" the Drapers on a regular basis back in the mid-70's - when it was a well-run North London drinkers pub with a pool table - that was probably the best time to have CCTV recordings of the comings and gpoings of the clientele - some very dodgy characters indeed. Then it closed down, reopened, got converted into a gastro-pub, won the best gastro-pub in London award in 2002 (?) and lost most (if not all) of it's more colourful clientele. C'est la vie !

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Linux

Gastropub

Just to back up Paul's earlier comment about the Drapers being the antithesis of a problem pub. Only the prices were criminal (which may explain the previous owners' insolvency). It's a fine Victorian conversion in a street fully of million pound houses. Barnsbury is one of the nicest areas in the borough.

As a former resident of the area (Meg 'ID cards' Hillier was my councillor!) I've raised civil liberties issues with the MP Emily Thornberry. She's pro-ID cards and pro the retention of innocent people's DNA. Astonishingly until the 2005 election she was a human rights barrister in Michael Mansfield's chambers.

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Bar Towels

Just have a pile of towels or other suitable coverings, so that those entering can wear one over their heads as they walk past the camera. I'm sure that most people would play ball with such a scheme... It would also allow the police and armed forces to go for a drink, because they could also use them to avoid being photographed.

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On-Camera

When shall we expect the people of Britain to rise-up and recover their freedom?

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Anonymous Coward

Can we extend this to Ripon?

You can't take photos of members of Her Maj's forces.

So any pub with CCTV would have to be a drunken squaddie free zone.

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@ Bar Towels

'Just have a pile of towels or other suitable coverings, so that those entering can wear one over their heads as they walk past the camera'

Surely wearing a towel on your head is enough to get you black bagged and shipped off to the yanks for a friendly torture session? No thanks.

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Everyday I have to remind myself....

That "1984" and "V for Vendetta" are (currently) fiction.......

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Anonymous Coward

im

for joining a group going around spray painting every cctv camera i see (with a mask on of course)

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