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back to article Eyes in the sky: UK.gov's CCTV code to IGNORE MILLIONS of cameras

The coalition government, keen to avoid being seen in the same light as the database and snooping-obsessed previous Labour administration, has issued a draft code of practice that it claims "introduces a philosophy of surveillance by consent". But the code won't cover the vast majority of cameras* that are operated privately by …

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm

"Police and local authorities will be required to meet the code, which is built on 12 "guiding principles", but if they breach it, no sanctions will be brought against them."

So other than keeping civil servants in their comfy, superannuated positions, the point of this load of tosh would be?

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"a philosophy of surveillance by consent"

That's just a load of bollox, innit?

My philosophy is "people consent to each give me £1 every day". It's probably a damned sight more enforceable than this typical "must be seen to be doing something" crap.

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FAIL

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Not a part time commissioner, it seems.

Is there any actual evidence that these intrusive and offensive objects have ever done anything to prevent a crime occurring? Or indeed, done anything except taught miscreants to wear hoodies?

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Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

No but there is extensive anecdotal evidence of crimes being observed by CCTV where the responsible authorities refuse to review or release the recorded material in support of the victims of said crime.

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Meh

Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

When some yobbo decided to slash the tyres on a number of cars including mine on a city centre street at 9pm, the CCTV spotted him and his mates and they were being arrested as I returned to the car a few minutes later. So CCTV worked well there.

Not so much the 'Justice System' where he got sentenced to a couple of weeks doing "hard time with TV and burgers". I was told it wan't worth trying to get any recompense for my nearly-new tyres as he would at best be told to pay it back at 20p a week forever and in the process would probably be told my name and address...

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2011 that 1.85 million CCTV cameras were watching the British public

And yet...every time I've actually required the use of one, say when I got mugged, or when my bike was stolen and when my car was victim of a hit & run...*none* of the operators had any film in, or they were switched off, or nobody was on duty at the time etc etc.

What happens then?

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Re: Cameras everywhere

"No wonder our youth are all hoodies, I don't blame them!"

I do. Kids don't grow up to be men anymore. They grow up to obfuscate and not take any responsibility for their actions.

Seeing as kids learn the behaviour from their parents, seems that the majority of the adult English populace are, well, a bit scummy?

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Re: Cameras everywhere

"They grow up to obfuscate and not take any responsibility for their actions."

To be fair, not all hoodies grow up to be politicians or civil servants - many become honest decent crooks.

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Re: Cameras everywhere

"Kids don't grow up to be men anymore."

Well, no. Not all kids do. Some of them grow up to be women.

And please - no cross-gender or other potentially offensive (to some undefined and unknown potential reader) mis-interpretations of that comment. It was intended purely to highlight the fact that 'kids' come in two genders, and both genders grow up (where the tribulations of life allow them to survive long enough to do so).

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Re: Cameras everywhere

"To be fair, not all hoodies grow up to be politicians or civil servants - many become honest decent crooks."

Or salespeople, possibly even CEO's.

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Anonymous Coward

"The coalition government, keen to avoid being seen in the same light as the database and snooping-obsessed previous Labour administration, has issued a draft code of practice that it claims "introduces a philosophy of surveillance by consent"."

Typical Tory ploy which, unfortunately, the plebs will not see through like a pane of glass.

I hate the english. I hate being surrounded by dim-wits.

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We despise you too, if it helps....

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WTF?

Don't worry, we hate you too.

(I'm not actually English, but I am sick of whining idiots like you. If you hate the place so much, why don't you leave?)

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Anonymous Coward

Oh no, scummy people hate me. Shocker!

"(I'm not actually English, but I am sick of whining idiots like you. If you hate the place so much, why don't you leave?)"

WOW you though that one out throughly didn't you? "whining idiot" or ENGLISH citizen who expects MORE from the scummy populace. You clearly don't give a shite about England, so maybe we would all be better off if "your sort" followed your own advice?

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I'm English.

You're annoying.

I don't want to be watched all the time. I support kids wearing hoodies to avoid it. Good for them.

Also, I hope they shit on your doorstep.

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Anonymous Coward

"I'm English.

You're annoying.

I don't want to be watched all the time. I support kids wearing hoodies to avoid it. Good for them.

Also, I hope they shit on your doorstep."

Scummy kids from scummy parents. Another set of rats with no morals/dignity/education/worth.

Thanks for confirmation.

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Re: " If you hate the place so much, why don't you leave?)"

I did. And cameras were a part of that. To misquote Terry Pratchett "The police want everyone indoors with the curtains open and their hands on the table" and the cameras were making the outside feel like that too. Not that I'm especially criminal; but the thought of being watched was a sort of low-grade discomfort all the time and everywhere.

So. A new set of "guidelines"; unenforced and with no sanctions for breaking them. What is the fucking point of that; apart from providing the "overseer" a cushy indoor job with no heavy lifting?

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I did

sadly I saw the way the place was heading and got out while the going is good. England is a nice place to visit... but 2 weeks is about all I can take before the frustration kicks in again at what it's become

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Re: " If you hate the place so much, why don't you leave?)"

Can we start a Whitehouse petition to have Eadon repatriated?

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" issued a draft code of practice that it claims "introduces a philosophy of surveillance by consent".""

Your consent is automatically given by being in the U.K.

But rest assured that the only cameras working will be the ones that bring in the most revenue.

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Boffin

" ENGLISH citizen"?

There is no such thing as an English citizen, or a Scottish one, a Welsh one or a Northern Irish one.

Why?

None of them are independent nations. Hopefully, this will remain basically the same even though, like many Scots, I am concerned about the unmitigated stupidity of some people who want to break up the UK for their own political gain.

There is not an English Army. There is not a Scottish currency. There is no such thing as a Welsh passport. There are many people who identify as English, Scottish and so on. I do. that is my ethnicity, not my nationality. There are British citizens who are English.I have colleagues who are very British but whose parents came here from other places, They are not English either. They are however the same nationality as me and we are both the better for it.

Got that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: " ENGLISH citizen"?@Spanners

Mind you,there's precious few "English" people choosing to live in Scotland. If you're not Scots, and have ever applied for a job there you'll know what I mean.....

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Re: " ENGLISH citizen"?@Spanners

Not really, I lived and worked in Scotland for a couple of years. It was great.

Glasgow > Edinburgh, btw.

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Big Brother

Re: " ENGLISH citizen"?@Spanners

British CITIZEN?

Aren't we British Subjects?

Subjects of observation it seems...

Or are we becoming Citizens now BB is watching us? (Shouldn't all the posts have this pic?)

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Facepalm

so not only is it a waste of time

because there is no reason to follow it even if there was sanctions they could just contract it out to a private firm and avoid it anyway. Pointless political headline scoring.

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There is a bright side to living in a police state

The government will provide vouchers for my internet connection.

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You're all missing the point. The guidelines will show how to make more cash out of cameras by selling material to "I am being Framed, Guv'", "Blimey that was rather a nasty axe-wielding incident Officer" or "Bollocks was I doin' a ton in a 30 mate" ... or perhaps even "Big Brother - The Reality Show ..."

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Facepalm

The vast majority

Of CCTV cameras are so under powered as to be next to useless and the vast majority of CCTV cameras are sighted in areas of high crime and low demeanour. Why live in such an area?

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Sited

obv ..

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Anonymous Coward

If it weren't for cameras....

Then a hell of a lot more crime would go unsolved.

On our daily briefs at the station, there's a plethora of CCTV imagery that has the suspects face clearly on screen. It's like a game of bingo..

"I know him!"

"That's such and such!"

etc

The Reporting Officer will duly be informed and roll around to his house to detain or arrest that suspect.

They do also stop crime, believe it or not, but like the 'Anti Tiger' rock in the Simpsons, it's one of those harder things to prove.

Ideal scenario is that every street in the UK has a camera on it. At the end of the day, if you're innocent, what's your problem?

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Re: If it weren't for cameras....

"At the end of the day, if you're innocent, what's your problem?"

The problem is that innocence depends very much on the vagaries of the day.

One day its mugging a granny, breaking a shop window..... one regime change later its looking Islamic, thinking suspiciously, applying for a school place out of catchment. Oh Ripa already covers the last one - Move it to the top.

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Re: If it weren't for cameras....

"if you're innocent, what's your problem?"

You, yours and your mindset.

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Big Brother

Re:"At the end of the day, if you're innocent, what's your problem?"

You.

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Anonymous Coward

Ideal scenario is that every street in the UK has a camera on it

Not that I normally feed the trolls but...

The ideal scenario is that there would be a bobby on the beat deterring crime, not a camera recording it.

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Anonymous Coward

Ideal scenario ... At the end of the day, if you're innocent, what's your problem?

FFS.

For the same reason I won't want cameras in my living room, bedroom, toilet. Not because I'm guilty of anything but that it's none of your f***ing business. Privacy != Secrecy.

In and ideal situation the CCTV cameras would all be outside the police and MP's houses and be viewable by the public who are paying for their services - that's how it generally works, EMPLOYER watching the EMPLOYEE - not the other way around.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ideal scenario ... At the end of the day, if you're innocent, what's your problem?

Nice realistic example there.

However, when you're walking down the street, guess what? That's a public place, meaning it's the role of the government to protect you.

Now, they can do that in a variety of ways:

1 - Have lots and lots and lots of police officers available to cover every major street, pedestrian precinct, etcetc in the country

Of course, that'll be represented in the massive tax bill that you'd all be getting slapped with for those services, and of course, the quality of the officers will decline as the intake process is required to take 2nd and 3rd choice candidates to fill the slots. (I believe this already happens in England having worked with your cops. Not so much in Scotland..)

2 - Have a wide CCTV coverage monitored from several control rooms which are linked directly into Police networks and will actively alert officers to ongoing crime, which is then co-ordinated through Force Control Centre to dispatch officers, update live time, pass descriptions, and the footage itself which will then be the corroborative evidence.

Happens already, works very, very well in Scotland at least.

What people forget is that there are thousands of victims of crime whereby there would never have been an arrest or detention were it not for positive ID via CCTV, and there certainly wouldn't have been an arrest without the corroborative evidence of CCTV.

Assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, thefts, etc,etc.... Unless two people have seen it happen, you're not going to get an arrest. You need further admissable evidence. That's your CCTV.

Works a charm.

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Now, they can do that in a variety of ways

You forgot 3:

Turn politician's gaze away from lining their own pockets by sucking up to Big Business and force them to turn their attentions towards providing real opportunities for the have nots by way of long form government instead of the tabloid practice of satisfying the 24 hour news cycle. Whilst lining their own pockets.

The root cause of crime is perceived helplessness in the midst of predicated poverty. Add lack of social mobility, poor, relevant, education, persistent meddling in the education system by ministers with a portfolio but without qualifications or experience and you have the perfect recipe for creating an underclass which feeds the status quo. And the status quo would prefer it that way.

What people (like you) forget is that there are millions of people like us who do not commit crime and do not want, need or deserve to be survived for any purpose. Especially 'just in case'

However vociferous you are in presenting your spurious argument, you're wrong.

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Re: Now, they can do that in a variety of ways

Irrelevant .. surveilled

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ideal scenario ... At the end of the day, if you're innocent, what's your problem?

My comment about the CCTV in the bedroom, etc was deliberately flippant - purely to highlight the stupidity of your last sentence about 'in an ideal world....nothing to hide, nothing to fear' bollocks.

Up to that point you were making sense, and yes I do see the sense in CCTV and accept it can reduce crime - but so does locking everybody up in solitary. The final part of your original comment totally discredits you, and makes me think that you should be the LAST person involved in CCTV. The scary thing is - and you seem to believe it.

Question - would you be in favour of implanting tracking chips into everybody? After all it could/would reduce crime as fake alibis would be harder and you would be able to place people at the scene, etc. Does this make it a good idea in your 'ideal world'?

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Re: Ideal scenario ... At the end of the day, if you're innocent, what's your problem?

The East German Stasi used to constantly monitor the people for signs of criminal activity, they just couldn't afford your preferred high tech CCTV Networked Camera solution.

Tell me what's it like to hold views which would have no doubt done you very well in such an organisation as that?

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Re: Now, they can do that in a variety of ways

>The root cause of crime is perceived helplessness in the midst of predicated poverty

Really ?

Politicians steal expenses, bankers rob investors and companies fiddle health and safety rules because they feel helpless about poverty?

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Re: Now, they can do that in a variety of ways

"Really ? Politicians steal expenses, bankers rob investors and companies fiddle health and safety rules because they feel helpless about poverty?"

No. That's opportunistic looting in the meleé.

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Anonymous Coward

Question

Is a camera on a bus considered being in a public place?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Question

Yes. A public place is any place to which the public can be afforded entry whether or payment or not.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Question

Thanks AC. I wasn't sure what the definition was. It is strange that cameras in 'public' places are exempt from this based purely on who operates them. Personally I'd be even tougher on private organisations who record the public (or at least as strict).

LOL - somebody actually down-voted my question.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Question

"Is a camera on a bus considered being in a public place?"

I think you'll find that bus drivers would refuse to work after 8:00pm if there wasn't a camera on the bus.

Drivers are considered as at-risk lone-workers, their employers have a duty of care to provide security; a camera is a big deterrent to would-be attackers.

People are poor witnesses, they can be intimidated by violence, studies show their recall of faces and events can be extremely poor. A camera is the equivalent of at least four people; if are you going to put a bobby on every street then it needs to be round the clock, so three shifts per day for seven days a week is twenty-one 8 hour shifts and a single person only works five shifts a week (not taking into account holidays).

People caught on camera tend to admit guilt and save the cost of a trial, when it's a witness then it becomes "he said she said" and CPS may not even bother to prosecute.

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Facepalm

Watchdogs with teeth please

Can we please give our watchdogs some actual fangs to sink into these people who don't follow the rules, it seems that they've been wearing kid gloves that long they don't know how to get them off!

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