back to article Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Most people leaving Kielder forest park in Northumberland go east towards Tyneside, but you can also head north-west on an uncategorised road through open countryside. After a few miles, just past the abandoned Deadwater rail station, a couple of road signs are all that marks the border between England and Scotland. But if …

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  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Narkotikahunden

    What a word!

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      Wasn't that an album track by The Fall?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      "Narkotikahunden "

      translation: The Drug Dog

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Narkotikahunden

        I think The Narcotics Hound sounds a bit more heavy metal and befits Scandinavia.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      What a word!

      I think I've just found the name for our next cat-appeasement[1] dog..

      [1] Senior female[2] cat *loves* dogs and got quite miserable when we didn't have one any more. So current dog is there to keep the cat happy..

      [2] As opposed to the 2 junior females who despise dogs. Which is why $CURRENT_DOG quickly learnt not to put his nose anywhere within about 20cm of their front paws.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Narkotikahunden

        Katzenglücklichmacherhund.

    4. 9Rune5

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      WedonotwastespacesinNorway.

      1. Awil Onmearse
        WTF?

        Re: Narkotikahunden

        Propellermutterputsdukshandlaren :)

    5. Chris Wicks 1

      Re: Narkotikahunden

      "ANPR-assisted Customs dog Jim"

      I imagine something like this: http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/ht_gopro_fetch_harness_2_jc_140826_16x9_992.jpg

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "cameras being moved so they did not read plates, as well as other attempts to damage them including setting them on fire."

    There's also scope for a sort of crowd sourced DDOS attack. Make up flip books with number-plate fonts, each character being individually flippable and just show a rapid succession of randomly flipped "number plates" to the cameras. With a bit of extra planning the same number could be shown to widely separated cameras at more or less the same time.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      With a bit of extra planning the same number could be shown to widely separated cameras at more or less the same time.

      IIRC the existing ANPR system copes with this perfectly well - primarily because of the problem of cloning and plate theft. And those participating in this scheme and unlucky enough to be caught would expect a short jail sentence and a longer driving ban, if we look at the UK examples of people convicted for displaying false plates.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        @Ledswinger

        you may want to re-read the post you replied to, I don't believe they were condoning the use of the 'flip book' whilst actually driving.

        I read it as someone holding up a screen with rapidly changing 'plates' to be read by the camera and f$ck up its data set.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Probably won't work

      These camera's are usually triggered by induction loops in the road surface or some other system to measure a vehicle passing to trigger the camera at the correct time. Just flipping a flip book probably won't trigger the camera

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: Probably won't work

        Riding a suitably tweaked bicycle while wearing a number plate t-shirt would probably work, and be totally legal.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: Probably won't work

          How about a tricked out Aston Martin with revolving numberplates?

      2. W4YBO

        Re: Probably won't work

        "These camera's are usually triggered by induction loops in the road surface..."

        An electromagnet being switched on (used to) work wonders with "trip switch" traffic lights. I always hated working a late night (read: early morning) when I was riding my motorcycle. I'd have to plot a course home using mostly right turns because the lights wouldn't change for my ferrous-lite scooter. The only other cars on the streets at the time were cops waiting for me to run a red light that wouldn't change. So I wound what seemed like a mile of itty, bitty gauge magnet wire around a steel core, suspended the gizmo from the frame around eight inches above the pavement, and mounted a switch on my speedometer console. Worked great except for that one time I hit the switch, and all five road's lights stopped working. Dark. I don't know if I killed the lights, or if it was coincidence.

        If I had the same problem today, I'd just try a couple of supermagnets.

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: Probably won't work

          Hm. At least here in the US there's a roadworks number to call with such problems. They even asked me to bring my bike if it was convenient for me, to help with the calibration.

          There's also a law saying if the bike waits through a couple lights and it's obvious it's broken, then it's legal to ignore it when safe to do so.

          OTOH, once I blocked a VERY busy left turn when the light ignored my bike, and I got an actual Sheriff's car to pull up and direct me through the light. That was years ago, though... and I was kind of being a dick by knowing it was a busy road and being content with being ignored.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Probably won't work

            OTOH, once I blocked a VERY busy left turn when the light ignored my bike, and I got an actual Sheriff's car to pull up and direct me through the light.

            Depends on the state law, I think, but same happened to me once, sort of. Turning left in my car and motorcycle in front of me wasn't heavy enough to trigger signal. Rider looked at me and made beckoning gesture, then I figured out the problem and advanced forward enough to trigger it for him.

          2. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: Probably won't work

            We've stopped using induction loops in favor of boom mounted cameras. They can see motorcycles without a problem. Currently the cameras are not hooked up to ANPR or SPECs type systems -- this is the USofA where these systems have unresolved legal issues -- but I'd guess they'd do it if they could.

        2. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Probably won't work

          Back in the day in New Zealand they used weight plates. So there I would be late at night sitting my bike on the plate and bouncing up and down trying to trigger them. On one occasion I put the bike on the stand, walked to the lights and pressed the pedestrian button for the other way, walked back and had a wait of about a minute before the lights changed.

          They did also have early red light cameras. So best not to risk it.

    3. NonSSL-Login

      That reminds me of the picture floating on the internet where someone has made a cardboard number plate with ";Drop database table; --" or something in the hope the ANPR has an sql backend and would process the command :)

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Obligatory XKCD.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Train crash Brexit

    It's already too late to get a system like that up and running in less than two years from now, especially if uk.gov just gives it to Crapita as they always do. Nobody will even know what they're designing for until it's agreed, which means there's even less time.

    1. thribb

      Re: Train crash Brexit

      if only we lumpenproletariat were smart enough to know the errors of our ways

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Train crash Brexit

        > if only we lumpenproletariat were smart enough to know the errors of our ways

        "Lumpenproletariat" is an improvement on the "racists and idiots" insult that Leave voters received after the referendum. :-)

        Similarly, UKIP "racists and fruit cakes" are now "sensible Conservative supporters" after they all voted Tory last week. ;-)

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Train crash Brexit

          Similarly, UKIP "racists and fruit cakes" are now "sensible Conservative supporters" after they all voted Tory last week. ;-)

          As long as they keep their racism and fruitcakery within the scope allowed by the Conservative Party, I'm sure their votes will continue to be welcome.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Train crash Brexit

        Yes, if only.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Train crash Brexit

      I'm sure you a Norwegian company will sell the UK a solution, within the deadline.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Train crash Brexit

        Thats not how it works.

        One of the usual suspects will be awarded the contract for a huge amount of money, they then buy in (say) the Norwegian solution for a much smaller amount of money and declare that it needs tailoring to match the government's requirements, take 2 to 3 years to get it working again (if not as well as it did originally), and then bill for the overrun costs.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Take back control

    Time to stockpile the popcorn, this dog's breakfast should provide enough entertainment until the next decade.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Take back control

      "neighbours Sweden, an EU member, and Norway, which is not"

      But they're both in the Schengen Area so the cameras aren't enforcing the movement of people.

      The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will have to be closed in order to implement the "take back control" bollocks, either that or they'll have to introduce immigration controls between NI and the rest of the UK to prevent Ireland becoming an unmonitored back door into the UK. It seems like this would be a backwards step for the peace process either way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Take back control

        I think they'll end up with controls between NI and the rest of the UK - easier to implement and also not covered by the Good Friday agreement (afaik).

  5. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sounds like a fairly nice system to me

    Nice if you want to indulge in a spot of smuggling, that is.

    All you need is an HGV and a set of false plates, preferably plates belonging to a vehicle that the authorities either trust already or will find difficult to check out.

    Quick, easy and simple and as long as you don't reuse the same plate too often or get caught physically changing the plates over, you ought to get away with the scam for quite a long time.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like a fairly nice system to me

      There's always the NI/RoI pig smuggling system to reintroduce.

      Export a lorryload of pigs one way through the official customs post, declare them, and claim EU farm subsidy.

      Take same pigs back across the border in the dead of night across an unmonitored minor road.

      Put them in another lorry and re-export the same pigs again, claiming another subsidy for the "new" export.

      Repeat

      Profit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds like a fairly nice system to me

        Put them in another lorry and re-export the same pigs again, claiming another subsidy for the "new" export.

        But what if the pigs tell the customs officials that they've already done that?

        1. Eltonga
          Joke

          Re: Sounds like a fairly nice system to me

          Sell the pigs to a slaughterhouse so they get to their well deserved fate. Cash. Redo from start.

  6. Ogi

    I don't think this will work here...

    ... for the same reason that adding cycle lanes and other rules and regulations didn't turn the UK into the Netherlands when it comes to cycle culture.

    The Nordics (at least based on my exposure to them) have a more homogenized culture, one that is very respectful of authority and obedience to rules and regulations. The Swedes in particular pride themselves on being "good citizens" in that sense.

    As a result just having a few cameras to monitor the situation and keep track of the odd nefarious outliers works fine.

    However the British isles have a more rebellious and anti-authoritarian culture historically, especially between the Brits, Scots and Irish. Not to mention a diverse set of peoples and cultures from around the entire world, all of whom have different attitudes to authority and rules.

    Mix that with some lucrative cross border booze/fag/other "business opportunities" and you have a recipe for bedlam. I highly doubt a couple of ANPR Cameras on backroads will stop a dedicated team of Glaswegians from shunting god knows what across the borders between the EU and May's "Tax haven Britain", let alone everything that may pass through Ireland and NI.

    Hell, I am sure in this very thread we will have a whole selection of methods for defeating this idea and getting whatever you want across the border, and this is just a casual public discussion between strangers.

    At this point however, it is happening, so we are all along for the ride in this train-wreck in waiting. Get some popcorn and enjoy the show :-)

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      However the British isles have a more rebellious and anti-authoritarian culture

      Indeed - just see how quickly the comments on this article turned to the subject of how to fool to defeat the ANPR tech

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      "the Brits, Scots and Irish"

      Until such time as we Scots leave, we are Brits, as much as the English and the Welsh are. It's that kind of mindless ignorance that will help us achieve this.

      1. Jess

        Re: "the Brits, Scots and Irish"

        I'm not sure I agree with that being a valid example of the mindless ignorance you refer to.

        Britain (when not used as an abbreviation for Great Britain) means England and Wales.

        British (when used as a nationality) refers to UK nationals.

        British is likely to refer to those ruled over by Westminster, until such time as England stands alone.

        Until such time as the Scots leave, they are British.

        Scotland is part of Great Britain. (You'll be pleased that it is the difference between Britain and Great Britain)

        However the poster used an abbreviation, Brits, not British. The context makes it clear he was not referring to the British nationality, but the people of England and Wales.

        If we do go ahead with a hard brexit I really hope you get the chance not to go down with us, and I think Mrs May is being totally unfair expecting you to suffer the consequences of our decision, BEFORE you get a chance to leave.

        Though had indyref gone the other way, I think we would have gotten the wake-up call we needed, and would not now be facing a decades long lesson in humility.

        1. Snorlax Silver badge

          Re: "the Brits, Scots and Irish"

          @Jess: Your nitpicking about countries and nationality was spoiled by the fact that you referred to Ireland as 'Eire' in your previous comment.

          When speaking in English, name of the country is Ireland, not the Republic of Ireland, not RoI and not Eire. The country is a republic, but that doesn't form part of the country name in the same way that France isn't called the Republic of France.

          If you wrote that comment in Irish, you would be semi-correct in using the name Eire. It's actually spelled Éire - notice the accent or fada on the first letter.

          The more you know....

    3. Spawn of Seaton

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      It's less a case that Scandinavians are slavish followers of rules, more that they are nowhere near as alienated from government.

      1. CCCP

        Re: I don't think this will work here...

        @Spawn

        Indeed, moonshine is still a thing in the Scandi outback. Last crayfish party I was at, someone brought several 5L jerrycans labelled "singsong & violence"...

    4. Jess

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      There is also the fact that Norway is part of the single market, this means that the only goods they are interested in would be those originating from outside the EEA, that are allowed into Norway by its own customs arrangements, and anything not covered by the single market (e.g agricultural products).

      Outside the EEA and customs union then everything would need to be controlled, including people who are not citizens of the British Isles.

      What is the point of (at the very least) decimating our economy and world influence, to 'control our borders' if the only people we currently don't 'control' can simply walk across the border?

      NI could remain within the customs union, and not block entry of EU citizens, and move the issue to the borders of Great Britain, but of course, that would be a special arrangement, and Scotland would be totally justified in demanding its own arrangement too.

      And of course what happens when Eire decides to join Schengen? The reason they didn't already was because it would mess up the border.

      Simply leaving the EU would reduce the the EU influence on us (and ours on it) to that which is needed by EEA membership. (It would probably reduce the international importance of the English language too.) It would not cause massive social or economic issues. This is what people were actually asked to vote on.

      However also leaving the EEA and the customs union, will be a disaster, economically and socially. With a margin of 2% it is not safe to infer that hard brexit is the 'will of the people' (i.e less that 1 in 26 leave voters wanted the wide pushed Norway model).

      At least after the election, the Tories will have a valid mandate for a hard brexit. (Assuming Labour keeps to its have your cake and eat it Brexit model, and also continues to fight the other opposition parties as well as the Tories.)

    5. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: I don't think this will work here...

      Possibly not Glaswegians. The border in the West is not ideal for this. The Solway Firth indents a long way you see and the roads around Glasgow are pretty well cameraed up.

      Be a bit easier to run it from Auld Reekie. Much better access to a lot of border. Best based just outside the bypass. Also there may not be a lot of formal roads across the Scottish borders but there are a plethora of 4wd farm tracks which do. You can get quite a lot of high value stuff on a ranger rover with a trailer. A backhander to the farmers on each side and Robert is your Mother's Brother.

  7. Red Bren

    Who is going to pay for all this?

    I assume it will be the UK taxpayer. Unless Chairman May goes all Trump and demands the Irish pay for a wall that they don't want.

    Or can we put a penny on income tax for leavers?

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

      Or can we put a penny on income tax for leavers?

      We are all leavers now. And the dawning understanding of what a bucket of smashed crabs the whole affair will be just might have something to do with the apparent coyness and reluctance of the Tories to include the same silly "no tax increases, guaranteed " manifesto commitment this time round. Instead they're blustering about being the party of lower taxes. They know perfectly well gov revenues will be falling fast at the same time as spending requirements are rapidly increasing, and as they've had this long term obsession with not running a budget deficit,.. there's only one way this is going to go.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

      I'm fully expecting Mayhem to bring in a tax on worldwide income for Brtiish expats. The cupboard is strong and stable but bare, nobody would give two fucks back in the UK, and the US does it so what's good enough for the US is good enough for the UK.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

        I'm fully expecting Mayhem to bring in a tax on worldwide income for Brtiish expats.

        Already covered by worldwide tax treaties which were in place before the EU ever existed, and have no connection to it. Any tax levied by the UK government on an expat is offset against tax paid wherever that person is fiscally resident. Expats already pay tax in the UK on certain UK income, and subtract it from the tax they'll pay in, say, Germany or France.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Who is going to pay for all this?

          Indeed. My point was that British expats may be required to pay tax on foreign income like American expats are, given that the present government is so keen to throw them under a bus with regards to Brexit (their proposal to the EU was just convert the status of all EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU to ordinary foreign residents and say 'job done, let's talk about trade').

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