back to article Police ad urges: 'Trust no one'

A new ad campaign by the Metropolitan Police warns the public to be on the alert for strangers who look at them in a funny way, and to check the contents of their neighbours’ bins. Suggestions that the campaign may be a tad alarmist have been dismissed, the police arguing they are only doing what is necessary to protect the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    wonder if we will get a wall out of this?

  2. peter garner

    No, but seriously..

    "Ibrahim and a number of co-defendants: they had used hydrogen peroxide"

    First photographers, now hair stylists feel the wrath of the government's security clampdown. Who shall be next, I wonder?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Become a police informer citizen! Inform on neighbours, friends, strangers and, parents, all allegations taken as fact, fabulous prizes to be won! Respect to be earned! Party status to be gained. Become an informant today!

    If you arn't an informant citizen, why arn't you?

  4. Cameron Colley

    It's sad really.

    I used to think of police officers as [mainly] people who wanted to protect our society -- now I just see them as a bunch of jack-booted thugs whose job it is to make someone's Powerpoint presentation look better.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who would hesitate to report anything genuinely suspicious to the police lest I become a suspect myself or ruin an innocent person's life.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Missed a qualifier

    The whole line is "Trust no one; Especially us."

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Jacqui Smith Talking Up Terror

    And on telly today, Jacqui Smith is talking up terror.

    It's a bit of a "suspicious" coincidence, isn't it? Sounds like a co-ordinated effort: government and police gearing up towards the G-20 protests.

  7. censored

    It's time.

    Armed revolution is only a few steps away.

  8. Belvedere Mulholland

    Wasting Police time?

    One wonders if it is possible to waste police time these days.

    It used to be a big deal but I guess if I shop everyone who looks a bit funny it will be OK?

    Or is there a fine line between clever and stupid?

  9. IndianaJ

    Heard the ad in Swindon too

    Though I think that was because Heart just took over our local station.

    Heart FM sort out your ad targetting please! We don't want none of tha' there London nannying down 'ere ta!

  10. The BigYin


    Get the public into a state of fear and they will beg for their freedoms to be removed. They will ignore the fact that they are safer now then they ever have been, it is merely the perception that has changed. I don't even lock my front door - there is no real reason to do so.

    Fear over terrorists. Fear over immigrants. Fear of paedos. "Please Mr. Politician, can we all have bar-codes on our foreheads. *I* have nothing to hide and thus nothing to fear, but my neighbour objects - they must be dirty terrorists! ARG! SAVE ME!"

    It is a sick, sad world when we must be more concerned about our own police and politicians. The government running rough-shod over the democratic process is a far bigger threat to us than any (almost certainly fictional) terrorist could ever be.

  11. Marky W
    Black Helicopters

    During the war....

    This really makes me uncomfortable.

    I suspect the rozzers think they are appealing to our wartime spirit; working together to face a (greatly exaggerated) threat to us all.

    However to me, and I suspect a lot of other Reg readers, it smells like the ugly bastard child of McCarthyism and the Stazi.

    I'd emigrate, but I don't know where to go. US - f*ck no, Canada - too cold, Oz - firewall bobbins, NZ - too far from anywhere. Any ideas? English speaking only please, I'm too lazy to learn any foreign.

  12. Gordon Ross Silver badge

    McCarthyism in the 21st Centruary

    Sounds like Joseph McCarthy is alive and well here in the UK..

  13. Jemma Silver badge

    ...and all of it with a straight face too..

    hmmm... talk about pot calling the kettle black...

    Bunch of right wing nazis the police around my way and I dont mind who sees me say it. I have every right to.

    So if I see some effete blokes in nice black and silver uniform dress with matching 'Deaths Head' accessories I'll be sure to call the local coppers....

    Oh, wait.....

    \Totenkopf... because its what they wear at home in front of the mirror when the wife and kids are out...

  14. Anonymous Coward

    NAZIISM is rife

    Lets see, spy on your neighbours, report them for suspicious behaviour and bin contents or even for entertaining strange people.

    This is the law of decent which fuelled state killings much loved by communists and Nazis alike.

    I do not like where this is taking us.


    I read somewhere that more peole die each year in the UK as a result of crashes than have been killed by terrorism throughout all recorded history.

    Talk about scaremongring.

  15. Stu


    This whole 'photography is terrorist preparation' thing is more bollocks than I care to visualise thank you very much. A particular sore point in this paranoid age we live in.

    Look at it this way - In the planning for the biggest terrorist attack of the 21st century, just how important to the whole process of flying those planes into the WTC was taking photos of them?

    I mean they could have taken photos, but its not difficult to do so in a non-suspicious manner whatever that might be. Its not like major terrorist hotspots also double up as tourist zones or anything is it.

    And if they did take photos for planning, just how would they compare to publicity photos put out by the tower owners in terms of effective aeroplane-to-tower targetting strategy? No comparison.


    Staring suspiciously at CCTV cams eh!? It surely must be a member of Al-Quaeda!

  16. Matthew Brown

    Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot...

    At least they were honest about it.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Trust no one?

    We don't trust the Police most of the time, so there's a start.

    Modern technology has allowed a "feature-creep" for surveillance - people shouldn't be held in fear. Thats no democratic or free. Might as well be a dictator, least you know where you stand.

  18. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    So it starts...

    "Trust no one! Your neighbour could be a raving loony revolutionary! Report them today for cash prizes!"

    Jesus, not this old crap about making bombs at home! I can go to any Superdrug shop or garden centre and get all the bits I need to make weapons, then down to the library for a GCSE physics revision guide for the instructions. I don't need the combined might of the Black September to help me start irradicating whatever section of society is getting on my wick today!

    Tell you one mob we should be bleedin' trust anymore, bloody Wacky J and that one-eyed, knocked-kneed Scots pillock!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny

    Honestly - empowering people to anonymously (because surely that's what confidential means?) report people for having a bag of lawn feed (Faisal of Croydon, you with the green lawn, you're under arrest) is simply a joke.

    With no training, access to some PDF posters and sound-bytes coming at you from your radio, everyone who's anyone will be calling up to report people who've pissed them off in a significant manner in the last week or two.

    Taxis - cutting people up will mean you're labelled a terrorist, your DNA is on file and you have to prove you're not. Tourists - don't you dare wheel your heavy luggage along the road, stopping to take pictures as you go along. You'll be locked up and the key thrown away. Anyone not white in the wrong place at the wrong time will be reported by the BNP.

    You get the idea......

    Or, actually, nobody will call in as apathy and ignorance will overwhelm them. Here's hoping - after all, the danger from those in power is now far more of a threat and more likely to impact us today than a terror plot.

  20. Bod


    Heard these ads on the radio recently and just confirms yet again that Orwell's 1984 continues to come true. It just got the date slightly out that's all.

    Won't be long before I'm stopped for using a camera I'm sure. I already get dirty looks and now those people are encourage to report me for being suspicious.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Its the First rule....

    of a Police State.... Suspect Everyone!

    *\. Yep! I'm Against them!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Staring at surveilence cameras

    Personally, I think we've got every right to be eyeing up surveilance cameras. Who watches the watchmen?

    Whomever is behind this at the Met should be shot. Where is our Government in all this?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why this paranoia now?

    Back during the "Troubles", the threat was very real yet no-one went around poking in each others rubbish bins or banning train-spotters incase they were terrorists in disguise.

    So why now? Perhaps those currently in control smoked too much wacky-baccie back in the 70's and 80's and are now suffering from a full blown psychosis as a result?

  24. Richard
    Thumb Up

    Know your rights

    Straight from the (corrupt) horses mouth:

    Note the bit on not having to surrender personal details. This is a point almost ALL officers fail to mention. Also, most stop-and-searches are carried out "on the record" meaning although they are not supposed to, very often officers record the details for holding on file.

    If you are stop-and-search'ed, inform the officer of your rights and assert that you're not up for any unlawful conduct on their part.

    -- Richard

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Is that Mad Eye Mooney?

    I believe "trust no one" was one of his lines.

    And he was nabbed when someone was banging around in his dustbins.

    But Voldemort is out of office now, so why are we still worried about the Death Eaters?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Bootnote - Cynical but true...

    Its the same as police seizing cameras and the like. Police; a law unto themselves....

    Anon for obvious reasons. Sure El Reg will have to comply with a data request very shortly.....

  27. chris

    and report all suspicious activities to Big Brother

    It time for the kids to shop their parents again.

    Oh happy days

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not Just the Met

    Its a nationwide thing, I keep hearing the ads on national radio. "This is the sound of a bomb not going off".

    I do find the whole thing extremely worrying, we never had this Stasi style "Citizens, your neighbour might be a terrorist, report them to us, and sleep soundly at night" sort of attitude when the IRA were running round the place blowing people up. Why are Muslim fundamentalists more dangerous than the IRA? Or is this simply a way of using fear to move us into a police state?

  29. John A Blackley

    Who's surprised?

    This, after all, is the logical next step in the sequence that goes: 1. Reduce the number of on-street police. 2. Replace on-street police with cameras and find that this is not an effective alternative. 3. Enlist the curtain-twitchers, busybodies and disaffected to do the police forces' detective work for them.

    And the next logical step after this? Well, I can't describe it but if you can locate anyone who lived in the USSR I'm sure they'll be able to.

  30. Adam Silver badge

    Not suspicious

    "However, failure to walk through an arch on request is, itself, suspicious - and therefore grounds for a s1 search. QED."

    IIRC failing to submit to a search is specifically mentioned in the Home Office PACE guidelines as *not* being grounds for a s1 search.

  31. Nebulo

    @AC 12:44

    Spot on. I already don't trust anything senior to a police constable (most of whom, in my experience, are actually quite decent and normal people); after this nasty little utterance I shall regretfully have to extend my distrust down to them too.

    Oh, and I'll stop loking "suspiciously" at snooping CCTV cameras when there are none to look suspiciously at. They are, after all, the tools of those who are destroying our quality of life, and the perfect indicator of the authorities' complete absence of trust in *us*.

    That do yer, copper?

    Mine's the one studded with high power IREDs.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    staring "suspiciously" at CCTV cameras

    What? They want to ban one of the simple pleasures I have left? Am I freaking them out by staring at the camera? Good. Tossers.

  33. General A. Annoying
    Thumb Down

    "doing what is necessary to protect the public in dangerous times"

    A bit like VIKI in I, Robot.

    Fucking scaremongers.

  34. Steve Glover


    Isn't it "Stay Alert. Trust no-one. And keep your T^Hlaser handy"?

  35. theManWhoWasThursday

    Be careful...

    Don't forget that terrorists have been known to disguise themselves in the uniforms of public servants, so be doubly-suspicious of anyone in a uniform asking questions or taking an interest in their surroundings.and the doings of members of the public.

    And then go remind the police what "public servants" is actually supposed to mean.

  36. Scott
    Black Helicopters

    @Cameron Colley

    If you report a true crime to the police more often than not nothing will be done about it as in the past year me and a few people i know have had to report crime to the police but nothing was ever done after the report was filed, they did not even contact me or the other people back to follow up or inform us the case had been dropped but as the article says report your neighbour for having too many hair products in there bin and the terrorist police will be round to kick the door in on there lovely over-time.

  37. alain williams Silver badge

    Who does this really benefit ?

    Those who have a job looking for terrorists or sell 'security' products.

    But if the cops live in an environment where they suspect everyone, they will end up seeing suspicious activity when there is none. This feeds back on itself; they end up trying to out do each other on identifying suspicious activity.

    Will I now be done for making a non British values statement ?

    I think that the whole security issue is a big threat to the British way of life, as well as hugely costly.

  38. Paul R
    Black Helicopters

    Trust noone

    You don't want me to trust anyone? OK, well, I guess I'll start with the police then.

  39. censored

    @ The BigYin

    There is a reason to lock your front door. Not to keep people out - if they want to break in, they will. But to satisfy your insurance company when you need to claim...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ censored

    "Armed revolution isn't far away"

    I think you misunderstand, they took away our guns long ago. Much easier to control an unarmed population isn't it.

  41. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Be worried about your neighbours

    If you're planning on doing a bit of DIY, decorating or fixing up the garden; you'd best hope your neighbours are all trained chemists and can recognise the legitimate uses for household chemicals.

    Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' had the perfect slogan for The Home Office:

    'Be Safe, Be Suspicious'

  42. Oz

    Trust no-one

    "Police ad urges: 'Trust no one'"... Indeed - especially not Wacky Jacqui and her cronies.

    Ratting on your neighbours was quite popular in the Second World War. The "perps" were taken away, without trial, and mostly killed. Here we are in 2009 doing pretty much the same thing - innocent people being held without trial or recourse, and it f**king stinks. At least the majority won't be killed, but there's always time.

  43. Britt Johnston

    war on terror stopped when George W left office

    It's not just that war on terror is an unhealthy state of mind.

    Staring suspiciously at a someone in a cemtex jacket is more likely to trigger an explosive response.

  44. Muscleguy Silver badge


    That NZ is a long way from anywhere is part of the attraction. As is that the foreign policy is to all intents and purposes non aligned so the only people who hate us are the Aussies when we beat them at something. The terrorists will be shooting lots of other people long before they get to me with my nice black passport. A very much more free society than here too. Soon as I figure out how to earn a decent crust I'm off back in a flash.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fear mongering

    Poster: "A bomb won't go off here because weeks before a shopper reported someone studying the CCTV cameras"

    So let me get this straight, if the shopper hadn't reported their suspicion, a bomb would definitely have gone off in that street. Or if the CCTV camera wasn't there a bomb would definitely have gone off. Or if someone hadn't been looking at the CCTV camera.

    Booom, a bomb would have gone off. For real? And you're not scare mongering idiots trying to drive the population into fear? No power grab going on?

    I can't believe that rank and file Rozzers are happy with what's going on.

  46. Wolf

    Hello, police?

    I'd like to report a strange man dressed in blue with a tall funny hat. He's staring at passers-by in a suspicious manner and he gives me a bad feeling. He's even *armed* with a nasty looking billy-club and he could be one of those SM types cause I noticed he's carrying what look suspiciously like restraints.

    I'll bet he's just looking for some young girl that catches his fancy...better send somebody round pretty quick before something really bad goes down.

    See? :) What's more suspicious than that?

  47. Juan Inamillion
    Black Helicopters

    Spoiler tactics

    Recently I've thought of staring at CCTV cameras, especially the ones in public spaces. Sounds a bit looney but if lots of people did it - point and stare- it might just make the operatives really really pissed off.

    I've also thought we should all take lots more pictures - most people now have camera phones so it's easy. At the end of the day you can delete them. Having your phone keylock turned on will prevent any Dibble looking and/or deleting pictures should you be 'approached'.

    And at demos/riots I think it's essential that as many people as possible record the events and upload them to the interweb ASAP.

    It's also worth remembering that most phones are quite reasonable voice recorders too, a little less obvious than video.... You could even leave it on in your top pocket while talking to plod...

    Just a suggestion - 'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'

  48. Paul

    Nothing to hide nothing to fear.

    Anyone exposing the contents of their bin to their neighbours clearly has "nothing to hide" and QED, cannot be a terrorist.

    If the public are being asked to watch the people watching the cameras, what are the cameras for?

  49. Hollerith

    The smiling face of brainwashing

    Heard our Jacquie on BBC Radio 4 this morning saying that where they can't nail someone under the law, they will 'challenge' -- the idea she put over very well is that they will bend themselves into pretzels trying to make it look as if some law covers behaviour The Gov't don't like and, if they fail, they will simply put the pressure on, clout the poor sods with anything they find.

    Meanwhile, the police will try to reduce us to a mass of gibbering twitching zombies, spying on each other, trusting no one, and supinely obeying every last 'sugestion'. Because that's the way we defend our values.

    But the Govt and the police aren't feared of turning the UK into Orwell-land: it's their obvious aim.

  50. EnricoSuarve

    Report Thy Neighbour?

    When I rumage through my neighbours bin he gives me funny looks and I've seen him eyeing my CCTV in an odd way

    Should I report him once or multiple times? If I find another odd bleach bottle in his rubbish which takes precedence?

    A scared pulic need to know

    All praise Jacqui, all hail the motherland


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