back to article Let's check in with our friends in England and, oh good, bloke fined after hiding face from police mug-recog cam

A man was pulled to one side, grilled, and fined by cops after he hid his face from a facial-recognition system being tested on the streets of south east England. London's Metropolitan Police was at the time running public tests of AI-powered equipment that takes photos of people out and about in the capital, and runs the pics …

  1. osakajin

    Gurning.

  2. Cruddletwap
    Pint

    Errrrrr, his face is now all over the internet courtesy of the BBC. Was that implied consent (liberally inferred by BBC Click), or he just didn't give a monkeys as long as he was sticking one to the 5-0?

    1. streaky

      Those rules don't apply to the BBC. Not even joking or just being sarcastic, they actually don't - not least because the BBC isn't considered commercial so the commercial photography rules don't apply. In a public place you can then do whatever the hell you want. If it's me I'd vigorously test that in court though.. The BBC is a package and they have huge commercial interests globally. Also yeah on an ethical level all sorts of wow if they didn't obtain permission.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "sticking one to the 5-0?"

      Stinking one to the what????

      1. Andy 97

        I know, I find it confusing too.

      2. Cederic Silver badge

        Slang for 'the police', I believe derived from the TV show Hawaii Five-O.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Oh, I see. After I posted, I thought it might have been a poor/faulty reference to Car 54, Where Are You? :-)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not my face

    I object to this so-called "trial", as I understand that the pictures will be retained "just in case" even if the person concerned is completely innocent of any crime or even suspicion. This is not right.

    1. streaky

      Re: Not my face

      It's literally not right. I'd start with the legal ramifications of Harvey v DPP and work back from there. Was police who initiated the hostile contact. He probably made the mistake of accepting a fine though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not my face

        "He probably made the mistake of accepting a fine though."

        Sounds like it was a fixed-penalty fine he was issued under s4/5 of the Public Order Act. I doubt it'd stand up if he contested it in a magistrates court, as it clearly doesn't remotely match the charging standard given by the CPS, but that would be a day's lost pay, etc, which may not be worth it (financially)

        https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/public-order-offences-incorporating-charging-standard

        1. Graham Cobb

          Re: Not my face

          So, what we need is an organised campaign to support anyone who is fined as a consequence of hiding their face, Enough, in each case, to compensate the victim for taking the case to court and beating the police.

          Hiding my face in public is an absolute right. It carries no implications of suspicion. That needs to be firmly established by the courts, the police complaints commission, and police operational procedures before this goes any further.

          I would certainly contribute a few hundred pounds to such a fund.

          1. onemark03

            Re: Not my face

            Absolutely. Is this not a civil rights issue?

          2. onemark03

            Not my face: Hiding my face in public is an absolute right. It carries no implications of suspicion.

            The police clearly assume here that if you feel obliged to hide your face in public, you must be guilty of something. Quite apart from fucking up their software trial.

            They clearly haven't heard of - or they possibly even reject - the notion that everyone has something to hide, namely their personal privacy. (Yeah, I know, I've said this before on El Reg. but it can stand repetition.)

        2. streaky

          Re: Not my face

          Can't sue the police for malicious prosecution without first winning your case.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Not my face

          " but that would be a day's lost pay, etc"

          Courts tend to issue that as costs if the plaintiff can show that they're forced to be out of pocket by attending (and the bollocking that goes with that to the plod or other entity which overstepped its authority gets ratcheted up a notch)

  4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    WTF?

    @Mark 85 [ https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2019/05/15/supreme_court_ipt_judicial_reviews_green_light/#c_3782685

    We're winning! Beat that!

    Seriously, though, I really hope there's more to this story than is mentioned here, but I'm not confident.

    I hope PI or some other group take up his case.

    It doesn't help community relations either, because you can bet your life some people will say "If he were Muslim, he'd not have had a problem." Cue Yaxley Robinson...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        I am a Muslim. Trust me, he would have had a far harder time if he was a Muslim,

        Now can you fuck off? Comments like yours belong on one of the chans, NOT on this site, OK?

        Cheers... Ishy

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: WTF?

      Indeed. I guess I owe a beer. ---------->

      This sure does seem to be a case of "guilty until proven innocent". What's next fingerprint scanners at crosswalks requiring everyone to get checked? And even being innocent he gets fined. Is there signs or some rule of law that says you must show your face to a camera?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        There is no general expectation of privacy in a public space, but equally there is no law requiring your face to be uncovered in a public space. The key word here is "public": it is not private. No property owner to impose rules on you. If you aren't breaking the law, then it's allowed.

        Despite this uncomfortable fact, the plod throw a fit if you even dare to point a camera in their general direction in a public space (or, god forbid, from your own property), but they apparently don't like this behaviour turned back on them in that same public space. Hypocrites, the lot of them.

        tl;dr no law requires uncovering for the perving peelers in the public sphere.

        1. NATTtrash
          Joke

          Re: WTF?

          Indeed, very correct. That of course is one of the worrying things. Watching the BBC Click video, it is clear there is a "Play the game according to the rules. Oh, we defined the rules. Don't like our rules? Cover your face? We punish you for not liking our rules" approach. In plain English that translates to "You're just fucking sheep. Deal with it".

          Furthermore, people in the Click piece all kind of suggest it's scattered field of different Dbases. Some suggestion points to linking and combining. But you can't tell me that the standard passport scan at the border for example is not included in this...

          Thinking about it, maybe I should copyright my face. With all the FR going on, I can retire from the copyright license fees everybody is going to pay me. Don't want to pay? DMCA...

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            > Watching the BBC Click video, it is clear there is a "Play the game according to the rules. Oh, we defined the rules. Don't like our rules? Cover your face? We punish you for not liking our rules" approach. In plain English that translates to "You're just fucking sheep. Deal with it".

            indeed. this is the kind of fawning media coverage which is perfect fodder for anyone wanting to make a case against the police making up rules as they go along.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WTF?

          "but equally there is no law requiring your face to be uncovered in a public space"

          Not quite correct. I can't remember which act (probably public order or terrorism), but a sufficiently senior officer (inspector or above) can order people to remove clothing/masks obscuring their faces in a specified area if they believe there is a risk of violence or disorder.

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            Section 60 rings a bell here, mostly it has enhanced stop & search powers

          2. rg287 Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            Not quite correct. I can't remember which act (probably public order or terrorism), but a sufficiently senior officer (inspector or above) can order people to remove clothing/masks obscuring their faces in a specified area if they believe there is a risk of violence or disorder.

            Indeed, and in the sorts of places these "trials" are likely to be undertaken (shopping centres, major events, etc) there is more than likely a relevant order in place.

            Nonetheless of course, it's entirely worth asking the officer "Under what powers? Act/Section?". Make them work for it.

        3. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          re: "the plod throw a fit if you even dare to point a camera in their general direction in a public space"

          I (and other photographers I know) have a rule of always photographing any police officer we see.

          Never had a problem from any of them. Indeed, the more heavily armed they are, the less they seem to care.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            "Never had a problem from any of them. Indeed, the more heavily armed they are, the less they seem to care."

            Actual coppers know the law about photography.

            PSCOs and other wannabes don't and they're the ones who cause trouble - which sworn staff then have to deal with as an arse-covering exercise because the photographer is now accused of something and it's the PSCO's word against a civilian's (keep that camera rolling and it's always worth bringing up "destruction of evidence" when they tell you to delete something).

            Bear in mind the astonishing number of prosecutions brought against PCSOs for various offences and the fact that less than a decade ago in the aftermath of a fairly messy murder case (corrupt PCSO got killed as gang retribution for what she and her husband were up to) UK police were freely admitting they had serious corruption issues with PCSOs they couldn't deal with as they didn't have enough staff to police their PSCOs, or enough volunteers to be able to give corrupt PCSOs the boot even when they _knew_ they were dodgy.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        Fingerprint scanners to cross the road?

        Is that why the kids years ago were subjected to using fingerprint scanners to get a school dinner? Do it early and get them used to it.

        I have the sudden urge to watch Gattica

        1. Scott 53

          Re: WTF?

          "I have the sudden urge to watch Gattica"

          Gattaca. There is no amino acid in DNA beginning with I, which was the whole point of the film title.

          1. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            Oh FFS, how did I not know that before. Thank you.

      3. J.G.Harston Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: WTF?

        Hey! Didn't you know? The buttons on pedestrian crossings have been recording your fingerprints for years! Don't you realise what that datapoint on the side of the box is for?

      4. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: WTF?

        Indeed. I guess I owe a beer. ---------->

        Cheers Mark!

        (Your followup questions have already been answered far more eloquently and accurately than I could, so I'll just sit here with my drink and wallow over "winning by losing"!)

    3. streaky
      Holmes

      Re: WTF?

      Stop and fine clearly not lawful. Don't accept street fines for things that are not illegal kids.

    4. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      "Cue Yaxley Robinson..."

      Stephen Yaxley-Lennon AKA Tommy Robinson.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: WTF?

        Or "Milkshake Boy" to his friends

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: WTF?

        Stephen Yaxley-Lennon AKA Tommy Robinson.

        I know!!

        Right-wingers get all triggered when a transexual wants to be called by their chosen name, saying that it's their right to call them by their birth name.

        I was just being diplomatic and half-agreeing with them, and half-not! :-)

        1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

          Re: WTF?

          Current term would be transgendered, transsexual has fallen by the wayside. Alternatively Non-CIS.

          Though be aware there are also "Queer" orientation (often don't conform to some of the existing labels, albeit some still consider it a pejorative)

          Gender being a fluid thing, a bit like (in theory) very few being 100% straight or gay - most fall somewhere between the 2, with most at either ends of the spectrum.

          HTH

      3. MJI Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        Waxy Lemon thankyou.

        TR is the name of a pop star most well known for 2468 Motorway.

        Quite a catchy tune as well.

    5. MJI Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      I think you are after the name waxy lemon

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Please Move Along

    If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide, Citizen.

    1. jockmcthingiemibobb

      Re: Please Move Along

      If I've done nothing wrong, then what I do is none of your business

    2. JustWondering

      Re: Please Move Along

      Then why are the police so sensitive about having their picture taken? They aren't doing anything wrong, are they?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there a law for that?

    So, is it illegal to cover your face in England, or not?

    Assuming that you don't HAVE to observe a religion or other belief system to be allowed to cover your face if you choose to do so, presumably plod can't arbitrarily compel you to reveal your face for their cameras just because they'd like you to? What about if it's cold and you want to wear a cinched up hoodie or jacket with a tight-fitting hood (think anything from the cycling jacket I wear in Vancouver rain storms to so called "fashion" garments with huge faux-fur ruffs)?

    Obviously if they have reason to believe that an individual warrants further investigation for some reason, I'm sure that laws already exist to allow them to determine your identity but, they shouldn't be able to charge/fine you with disorderly conduct or similar as a secondary charge/offense for failing to comply with non-existent laws.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Is there a law for that?

      Obviously it isn't illegal to cover your face in England. His crime was not covering his face, but pissing off a cop who thinks the public should "respect his authoritah!"

      1. JustWondering

        Re: Is there a law for that?

        It is all about respect. If you don't respect their authority, they don't respect you as a human being.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Is there a law for that?

          That authority needs to be EARNED.

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Is there a law for that?

            At the same time, the sensible route is to remain un-riled and unmercifully polite (that will piss them off) - recording the 'interview' might also help

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: Is there a law for that?

              A lot of cops will become pissed off and make up nonexistent laws they claim prevents you from recording them. They want to be in control of all recordings, so they can conveniently be "lost" or "not working" as circumstances dictate.

              Around here local papers had to take a police department to court, and only after 18 months of appeals were they forced to make bodycam videos public. Which of course showed that the officers at the scene had been lying about what happened all along, just like everyone else present at the scene had stated.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: Is there a law for that?

                "Which of course showed that the officers at the scene had been lying about what happened all along, "

                At which point they should have been charged with perjury.

                A sworn officer must be held to a HIGHER standard than the general public. Letting that kind of shit slide is exactly how you get corrupt police.

          2. mycatcandothat

            Re: Is there a law for that?

            Unfortunately, authority is GIVEN. Respect has to be earned ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there a law for that?

        Still referred to as the "attitude test" by Plod Scotland, though in their case usually used to justify not doing anything - he passed the attitude test so I just gave him a warning sarge, saves paperwork doesn't it

    2. streaky

      Re: Is there a law for that?

      It is not illegal to cover your face in the UK. The police can ask you to remove face coverings in specific circumstances but it is not a crime in itself. They certainly can't do it just because they feel like it.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Is there a law for that?

      The problem was he swore and as soon as he did that he was fined.

      This is what happened in another trial four months ago, also curiously in Romford.

      So the lesson is don't let yourself get riled up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there a law for that?

        "The problem was he swore and as soon as he did that he was fined."

        Swearing at a police officer is not a public order offence (according to the Court of Appeal), unless there are others who may reasonably hear it and be offended/alarmed.

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/21/swearing_ruling/

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Is there a law for that?

          I'm sure the other police officers standing next to the first one will all testify as to how offended and alarmed they were.

      2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: Is there a law for that?

        Last time I observed swearing in the presence of a police officer the situation was diffused by the comment "There's no need for that Sir". End of problem.

        Not "Non-state-sanctioned language detected, fine 93 credits" ...

        Silly question but is there a legal list of "offensive" words in the UK and when they are not allowed to be used *by law*? Section 5 is very vague and doesn't specify what 'offensive' or 'insulting' actually is. In some company "Bejesus!" is offensive and in others not, so how is the law used in the Court - unless it's left deliberately vague as a catch-all for people who don't want to be photographed?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Is there a law for that?

          What about:

          Begorrah, Gadzooks, or even Belgium (according to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

          anon: because I don't want to be associated with bad language

          1. Mike Timbers

            Re: Is there a law for that?

            I knew a guy who was approached by a policeman because his T-shirt showed the 7-up character with a message "Spliff up or fuck off". The policeman told him to cover it up. He replied "Oh you can read!" and was promptly arrested for being an arse.

            1. sabroni Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: promptly arrested for being an arse.

              If that was real law these forums'd be pretty quiet!

              Myself included, don't get pouty!

            2. Chris Parsons

              Re: Is there a law for that?

              Completely off-topic BUT..a friend's son had a VW Microbus, hand painted, with 'I say no to drugs - but they don't listen' as one of its many witticisms. Surprisingly, he was frequently stopped.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Is there a law for that?

            Just tell them to "naff off" .... that is a "non-swearword swearword" that was "invented" for the series Porridge to allow the prisoners to act "In character" by swearing a lot but not using language that would fall foul of the BBC rules (which were stricter then than the are today)

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Is there a law for that?

          "Silly question but is there a legal list of "offensive" words in the UK and when they are not allowed to be used *by law*?"

          No - and the law is very clear (High Court rulings) that swearing at a copper doesn't pass the threshold as the court finds not only that they've seen and heard it all before - even if you did insult the constable's dear old mother's moral values and questioned his ancestry - they're both trained and expected to put with it as part of the job.

          Of course, if you're screaming at the top of your lungs "I plan to ritually disembowel each and every one of you before roasting your eyeballs on a spit" that might qualify as a section 5 offence depending on how seriously the threat was taken.

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Is there a law for that?

        This is what happened in another trial four months ago, also curiously in Romford. So the lesson is don't let yourself get riled up.

        So the lesson is, don't go to Romford.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Is there a law for that?

          "So the lesson is, don't go to Romford."

          have you ever BEEEN to Romford? There are worse fates than Belgium.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is there a law for that?

        "The problem was he swore and as soon as he did that he was fined."

        I'd assumed that was the case ... remember seeing a program a few years ago of how police were handling "late night revelers" ... basically the process was to stop a group of preceived likely trouble makers, wait till they swore (normally only took a few seconds) and then said "right, you're nicked - get in the van". ALso remember reading in the past of a case where someone had been arrested by the police for swearig and magistrate/judge through the case out as he failed to see how the police officer making the arrest wouldn't have been used to language similar to what was used and thus could not be deemed to have been sufficiently scandalised by it to merit the charge.

    4. NATTtrash

      Re: Is there a law for that?

      I agree. BTW, did you spot the other curiosity in the Beebs Click piece?

      When they asked members of the public what they thought of the multi million people scanning at a shopping mall:

      Black guy: "I think it's an improvement over stop-and-search"

      White guy: "I think it's kind of creepy"

      Looks like they have different experiences with the plod. Who would have thought?

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        Re: Is there a law for that?

        Its the BBC they probably stopped and asked hundreds of folk till they got the desired pair of answers - see minister the ethnic minorities are fully supportive of this.

        That or the pair were BBC staff members enlisted to be "members of the public"

  7. elDog

    I suppose a heavy use of mascara, lipstick, and giant goggles could get you put into the pokey also

    Given the recent news about how the AIs are easily fooled by one or two errant pixels, it shouldn't take much to arrest the whole population of Great Blimey.

  8. Chris Thomas
    Black Helicopters

    What the heck

    How can this possibly be legal? What about motorcyclists wearing helmets or people wearing a niqab or burka. Has there been a change in the law that I have missed?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What the heck

      He wasn't arrested for covering his face, he was arrested for disorderly conduct = annoying a police officer

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: What the heck

        They stopped him. So how did he "annoy" them? Curiouser and curiouser.

        1. Nik 2
          Stop

          Re: What the heck

          On the video he says "So I told him to F*** off"

          That's never going to end well, especially if you've just annoyed said PC, even if doing so was entirely legitimate.

          He also says that he had been told before he walked down the street that the camera was there, so if he'd been trying to hide he could have gone round a different way...

          Icon: Stop, in the name of the (controversial and ethically somewhat dubious) law

          1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

            Re: What the heck

            I thought he said he basically told them to fuck off, which isn't really any better.

            Anyway, wasn't the advice he received basically that it's a no go zone?

          2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

            Re: What the heck

            He also says that he had been told before he walked down the street that the camera was there, so if he'd been trying to hide he could have gone round a different way...

            Having to take a different route because the one you want to use is "blocked" would mean that the police have caused an illegal obstruction on the Queen's Highway. In general, you have a right (whether on foot, horse, or in a motor vehicle) to pass and re-pass along the Queen's Highway - and you do not have to have a reason for doing so.

            There have been cases where (eg) a council has installed a gate at one end of a highway (unsurfaced, colloquially known as a green lane) to stop people using it. Arguments that people could pass along the highway, turn round, and pass along it the other way were tossed out in court; as were arguments that people wanting to use the highway could go a different route and so had no "reason" to use it. Basically the magistrate agreed that the person bringing the case had a right to use the highway, did not need a reason to use it, and the gate prevented him from doing so.

      2. cornetman Bronze badge

        Re: What the heck

        That's right. The pulled him over for wanted to maintain his anonymity. They didn't charge him with anything. They had no reasonable suspicion that he had done anything wrong.

        So he rightly berated them for doing so.

        So they fined him for asserting his rights.

        While we're at it:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmWWKZwyCIw

      3. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: What the heck

        In other words he probably acted like a twat when they stopped him for acting suspiciously. He is perfectly within his rights to not want to be scanned - and the police are also perfectly within their rights to find that suspicious and to check him out.

        1. cornetman Bronze badge

          Re: What the heck

          WTF?

        2. DougS Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: What the heck

          And here we have an example of someone who will welcome an authoritarian government, because it "makes him feel safe".

          Maybe you should move to Russia, China or Venezuela (while it lasts) rather than waiting on another country to become authoritarian enough for your apparent taste.

        3. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

          Re: What the heck

          You brits need to tell your gov to piss off and do what is done in north america if any crap like that happens here! We simply SHOOT the mofo's who try a stunt like that! 300 million guns makes ALL the differrnce in America --- NEVER EVER GIVE UP --- Your ABSOLUTE GOD-GIVEN RIGHT To Bear Arms!

          .

          1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: What the heck

            I agree. Because obviously the deaths of hundreds of innocents and kids because a few neckbeards don’t understand their constitutional history, is worth it to avoid a trivial fine, that is challengable in other ways.

            Besides if he had been black with his face covered in the US they would have shot him in the back / whilst sleeping in his car/ whilst asking for help for a burglary.

            1. Trollslayer Silver badge

              Re: What the heck

              Correct about the constitution.

              The second amendment REPEATEDLY refers to organised militias AKA the National Guards.

              NOT individuals.

              BTW National Guards are federally funded.

              Finally look up "Operation Jade" for USian stupidity.

          2. cdrcat
            Coat

            Re: What the heck

            I am left wondering if you are trying to demonstrate Poe's law...

          3. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

            Re: What the heck

            you don't shoot anyone except school kids and blacks.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What the heck

            I still think it was a typo for bare arms

            They might have meant the right to arm bears (if they were drunk at the time)

          5. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

            Re: What the heck

            Everyone knows there is no such thing as God. Your so called "God given right" is just an illusion and unfortunately you are too deluded to see it.

            Just sayin'... no offence right?

          6. Trollslayer Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: What the heck

            I would rather have the right to arm bears.

            BTW how are the school shootings going?

          7. Patrician

            Re: What the heck

            How many children have been shot and killed in schools by those fire arms again?

          8. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What the heck

            Why would you want the arms of a bear?

            1. Casca

              Re: What the heck

              Why wouldn't you?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What the heck

          Police don't have Rights. They have Duties and Responsibilities. Only Humans - individuals - hae Rights. And many of us might question if Police should be considered Humans . . .

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What the heck

            ACAB

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What the heck

          "[He is perfectly within his rights to not want to be scanned] and the police are also perfectly within their rights to find that suspicious"

          The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (and associated guidance) disagrees with you.

        6. Chris Parsons

          Re: What the heck

          It would seem - thank god - yours is not a popular view.

        7. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: What the heck

          Well, he is The Vogon. You know, "Resistance is useless", and awful poetry. Perfectly consistent, really.

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: What the heck

      The law hasn't exactly changed.

      As I understand it the man was fined under a legal doctrine of "You must always do what we tell you, and never try to evade our wishes or deceive us". If anyone offends against that principle, the police either dredge up some obscure law that can be portrayed as somehow covering the situation - or just bluff, as they did in this case.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: What the heck

        As I understand it

        You misunderstand. He was fined for disorderly behavior because he swore at a police officer.

        Had he kept his temper, that wouldn't have happened, they would have had to get him for walking on the cracks in the pavement or being in possesion of an offensive wife...

        1. Mark 65

          Re: What the heck

          TBH he could probably appeal the fine and win as long as he didn't swear at the Magistrate.

          1. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: What the heck

            Even swearing in court wouldn't necessarily be an issue - indeed, it may help his case if he demonstrates that this is just his normal language.

            Reference: A magistrate admitted to me that she only cares about swearing in court if it's used to disrespect the court itself (although calling her a cunt does qualify).

  9. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

    Big Brother is bending you over without even giving a reach-around, then fining you if you complain about it.

  10. whitepines Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Social norms

    Ironically all this may do when deployed is normalize the idea of going out in public with your face covered -- for safety and security, of course. Makes it harder to see at a glance who might be up to no good, but a logical step in light of this kind of totalitarian abuse.

    What I find most amusing is that many dystopian science fiction stories arrived at a similar idea -- whether it's to protect from a harsh climate or this kind of analysis, quite a few feature what might be best described as "travelling in public" suits / masks / etc., so you don't really talk seeing the other person's face unless you're indoors somewhere relatively safe.

    Is this really the future we want?

    1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

      Re: Social norms

      Sounds like we're being ruled by a bunch of unsocial people.

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Social norms

      "Is this really the future we want?"

      Considering what the Fremen did to the Sardaukar - probably yes.

  11. cornetman Bronze badge

    When I watched that video, I could feel myself getting angry enough to petrol-bomb that camera van and the uniformed f*ckwits standing next to it.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    Is this really the relationship with the public that they want to encourage?

    It doesn't help that there seem to be no limits to what the police can do these days.

    I'm not liking this future one bit.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Thuis is the MET we're talking about. They are totally out of control, and have been for very many years.

  12. eswan

    "...it was estimated the technology had a whopping 98 per cent false positive rate."

    That's not a facial recognition system. That's an excuse to harass anybody they feel like harassing system. Might as well use a motion detector and a lamp labeled 'Bad guy sensor'.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      But at least they can accurately determine that you aren't a banana.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Not officially

        Well, at least not a European Standard Banana. If you're bent or not yellow enough, you might escape.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "That's an excuse to harass anybody they feel like harassing system"

      Yup, in 2017 it notably matched a middle aged black woman as a wanted white male teenage offender, amongst other failings.

      Worse than the 98% false positive rate is the utterly undocumented (and undocumentable) false negative rate.

      The only good thing that will come out of the facial recognition trials is the body of evidence showing that the technology doesn't work and infringes on human rights - therefore will get banned EU-wide

      (What made the last Prime Minister such a fan of Brexit was getting away from those pesky EU courts upholding decisions that the UK had acted illegally and in contravention of those pesky human rights laws - many of said illegal actions being ones she'd instigated whilst Home Secretary)

  13. Michael Jarve
    FAIL

    Only in Nany State Britain...

    Starts- Guns cause death, take all my guns, please! Only criminals will have guns! We'll all be safe then!

    Next- Knives cause death, take all my knives, please! Only criminals will have knives! We'll all be safe then!

    Then- Nobody saw that person who may have had criminal intent, monitor us all, please! Only the guilty have something to hide! We'll all be safe then!

    After which- Vans cause death! Take all my vehicles, please! Only criminals drive vans! We'll all be safe then!

    Which leads to- Liberty and privacy cause death, take my liberty and privacy, please! Only criminals need liberty and privacy! I'll stay home, with my hands neatly laid on a table and not move unless told to, not think unless told what to think, not speak unless spoken to, and accept that Big Brother loves us all. We'll all be safe then!

    The next logical step is simply to "liquidate" everyone. eliminating crime and all other ills once and for all.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

      You are Judge Death and I claim my £5.

      He is the leader of the Dark Judges, a sinister group of undead law enforcers from the alternate dimension of Deadworld, where all life has been declared a crime since only the living commit crimes.

      1. Michael Jarve

        Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

        I actually had The Auditors of Reality in mind when I wrote that, but Judge Death works, too. Just so long as he did not encounter DEATH himself, who is a bit too sentimental of humanity to allow such police action to go unchecked ;).

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

          Have an upvote for the Sir Pterry reference.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

      “Starts- Guns cause death, take all my guns, please! Only criminals will have guns! We'll all be safe then!“

      Only licensed people have guns over here, and we have had three mass shootings in our history.

      The second of those was at a school, and we therefore brought in legislation to restrict firearms ownership.

      The US, although it is larger so would expect a few more, averages more than a mass shooting per day (defined as more than 4 deaths IIRC).

      The Wikipedia lists of school shootings in the US has to broken across multiple pages by time period because there are so many.

      The rest of your logic doesn’t follow. There are precious few reasons to own a firearm - and you can be licensed for those. Knives are of use in every household - they won’t be banned.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

        "Knives are of use in every household - they won’t be banned"

        I think thats not going to stop them being banned and rightly so. I'm speaking of the sharp knives here, not the ones that have serrated edges so act more like a saw.

        There are many ways to do what a knife does in the kitchen (the only use of a knife is in the kitchen) without resorting to having a large open blade.

        Butchers can cut meat for you, so you dont need a knife for that at home. Food processors can be used to chop and slice many items without using a blade of any significant length. Those little egg cutter things that use wire can cut cheese and other soft items while being annoyingly difficult to turn into a weapon.

        I saw a little device that chops up onions and other veg just by you putting the veg inside and pushing down. It would have blades inside, but small ones. Try stabbing your classmate with those.

        I honestly think that to buy sharp stabby knives you should have a license. You should have had basic safety training, have a valid reason to own the knife i.e you are a chef/caterer and they should be stamped and chipped with your license number so if used in a crime, they will know who to talk to. Also they should be kept securely in a locked cabinet at home or your workplace like a license gun should.

        Our kids cant be trusted around these things. The kids are not the same as we were when we were kids. So we have to remove the problem and that means changing the way we use and view knives. Eventually we will have an home environment which makes it very difficult for a kid to inflict damage on another. They will just have to accept it and figure out another way to run their little gangs.

        1. ibmalone Silver badge

          Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

          A former martial arts instructor of mine once pointed out you can walk down the street carrying any number of seemingly innocuous but dangerous objects. Apparently this realisation came to him while carrying a vacuum cleaner through town, a retracted telescopic rod makes an excellent improvised club. A sharp edge is certainly more easy for the casual assailant, but plenty of items will make a convenient stabbing weapon for those willing to put the effort in. I'll leave it to the reader's imagination rather than enumerate them. Needless to say, the list of things that will need to be specially licensed rapidly becomes very long. The industrious criminal will also find ways even with small blades: how did people off each other before the invention of metal? Well, the Aztec Macuahuitl is one answer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macuahuitl Pacific Islanders used similar weapons made by embedding sharp rocks or shells into a frame.

          Yet, we put up with these things? Why? The answer is that the items we use in everyday life, including knives, have a utility that far outweighs the small risk that somebody will use them for evil, and that restricting them does not much reduce the options for harming others, but does greatly reduce people's ability to carry out everyday tasks. This is why despite it being possible to run people over with a car we don't place any great restrictions on buying them. For knives, there are uses of knives outside the kitchen, and the few alternatives you've suggested don't even cover the possible things you might want them for in the kitchen, while introducing a whole lot more appliances. (Asides: what is the environmental impact of that and the resulting harm? What's the resultant harm from encouraging people to eat ready-meals more frequently?).

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

            "you can walk down the street carrying any number of seemingly innocuous but dangerous objects"

            If you're determined you don't even need those as the street presents a large number of innoculous/dangerous objects that can be used to inflict GBH on the unwary, ranging from curbstone edges to more obvious street furniture to passing vehicles.

        2. TechDrone
          FAIL

          Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

          You'll have a hard time trying to carve a sunday roast with a wooden spatula.

          Also, that b**t@rd serrated breadknife we got a couple of years ago has drawn more of my blood than decades of using chef, carving, paring, boning and veggie knives put together. And also various chisels, guillotines, snips etc when I did proper engineering.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

          "I honestly think that to buy sharp stabby knives you should have a license."

          Really? I should spend money on a load of stupid plastic gadgets that don't do a very good job or get a "licence" to use my proper chefs knife that does a better job than most of those gadgets?

          Kitchen gadgets are designed for people with aspirations who never actually try to attain them, hence the lack of effort to learn how to do a job properly and instead rely on cheap, plastic, nasty gadgets which they only ever use a couple of times before relegating it to the back of a drawer, cupboard or the bin.

          I would bet, with a high degree of confidence, that 99.999% of sharp knives have never been used in a criminal way.

          As an an examples, back in the late 60's, early 70's, it was notices that a lot of people were drowning. There was a huge advertising push to tell people how dangerous water can be and all school kids had swimming lessons. That campaign ended and now, a few generations later, people are getting pissed and falling in rivers and canals and drowning. The "modern" solution? Campaign to have city centre rivers and canals fenced off at great expense so a very few (ie 10's per year out of 60 MILLION PEOPLE) can be saved from their own ignorance and stupidity.

        4. cornetman Bronze badge

          Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

          > I honestly think that to buy sharp stabby knives you should have a license.

          Seriously, I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or if you're just being a twit.

          Help us out here, please.

      2. rg287 Silver badge

        Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

        The second of those was at a school, and we therefore brought in legislation to restrict firearms ownership.

        The main takeaway though is that literally nowhere else in Europe did, including Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar or the Channel Islands.

        And they haven't had a rash of school shootings either.

        The key to addressing firearms crime is the robust enforcement of a sensible licensing system. In the case of Dunblane, Central Scotland Police were negligent and lax in their management of firearms licensing, with tragic results.

        The arbitrary prohibition of pistols (even in Approved Clubs for Olympic Target Shooting) has done literally nothing to protect the general public (most popular firearm used in crime in the UK is a pistol - and they're not coming from the white market, because there isn't one!), which is why the Cullen Inquiry didn't actually recommend it - but Tony Blair made it an election issue.

        Actually enforcing the rules is key, along with targeted programmes such as Operation Trident. We know this to be true because if private possession of pistols or firearms correlated in any way to firearms crime, Germany and Czechia would be a blood bath. Instead, they both have lower intentional homicide rates than the UK!

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

        "The Wikipedia lists of school shootings in the US "

        It's worth noting that US school shootings were so relatively common in the 1970 and 80s that they usually barely noted a mention outside of the state.

        News is news because it's RARE/unusual, or directly affects the readership.

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Only in Nan[n]y[-]State Britain...

      "Starts- Guns cause death, take all my guns, please! Only criminals will have guns! We'll all be safe then!"

      Almost no criminals in the UK have guns. And almost all of those are fake, in fact. And those criminals that have guns are smuggled in from countries with lax gun security. So it's more an argument to stop all trade with countries with stupid gun laws than anything else.

      And the rest is nonsense.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only in Nan[n]y[-]State Britain...

        'Almost no criminals in the UK have guns. And almost all of those are fake'

        A rather bold statement or two there...

        Firstly, whilst it might be true that almost no criminals in Britain regularly carry guns, this doesn't mean that they don't have access to them.

        Secondly, as to the guns they have access to being fakes, well, here's the thing. If you're talking about a.random.firearm incident as usually reported then there's a good chance the 'firearm' will turn out to be a replica, or an airgun (the cynic in me refuses to recognise airguns as firearms, though by a bit of legal weaselry with the language, they are..) However, once you get to gangs and organised criminals, that changes, what they have access to are very real.

        '.. And those criminals that have guns are smuggled in from countries with lax gun security. So it's more an argument to stop all trade with countries with stupid gun laws than anything else.'

        Our eastern european economic migrants brought with them a rather nice selection of ex-soviet small arms, ISTR the Manchester gangs were getting their weapons shipped in from all over the place, a number of guns were coming in via returning squaddies..I've heard tell stories about the occasional weird movements of coasters inbound from across the North Sea to some of our eastern river ports...

        Other countries gun laws are their concern, the fact you might not like them and deem them lax is irrelevant here, the real display of laxity is with the security at our borders.

        Oh, speaking of squaddies...though I can't find current figures at hand, between 2006-2011, 80 machine guns, 117 rifles and 103 pistols went walkabout from UK bases...one wonders where they've gone?

        --

        "Doesn't it sometimes strike you as odd that all our governments who loudly claim to rule by the will of the people are willing to run almost any risk rather than let their people have arms? Is it almost a principle that a people should not be allowed to defend itself, but should be forced to defend its government? The only people I know who are trusted by their government are the Swiss, and being landlocked, they don't come into this." 'The Kraken Wakes' -- John Wyndham, 1953

      2. rg287 Silver badge

        Re: Only in Nan[n]y[-]State Britain...

        And those criminals that have guns are smuggled in from countries with lax gun security.

        Or just making them domestically. Shocker - people have been manufacturing firearms for hundreds of years (i.e. Birmingham's Gun Quarter). It's 18/19th Century technology - not that hard. Any competent machinist or high school DT/metalworking teacher could make a gun with some basic tooling if they took a mind to it, just as these crims did.

        You could have a total prohibition on the private ownership of firearms - wouldn't stop this going on.

        Once you have a sensible licensing system in place, prohibitions on specific types of firearm are pointless - as evidenced by the rest of Europe, who can still shoot target pistols in clubs, but mostly have lower homicide rates than the UK, or in extremis the Czech Republic where you can literally own an AK47 (with the right license), but where they have a homicide rate half that of the UK's.

        Because their Police bother to enforce the law.

        By contrast, the UKGov has just banned a class of rifles in the Offensive Weapons Bill which have never been involved (or suspected to be involved) in a single recorded crime. But hey, legislation is cheaper than reversing the last 8 years of Police austerity cuts. It should be self-evident that cutting crimes committed with MARS-action rifles from zero to... er, zero will not address the rise in crime involving pistols committed by organised criminal groups.

        Tough on crime, tough on the causes symptoms of crime.

        The takeaway is that the UK Government do not believe that British Police are as competent as their European counterparts and cannot be trusted to administer a Firearms Licensing system robustly. It's the only explanation for their policies standing in stark contrast to all available evidence from comparable countries.

    4. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

      They are constantly trying this one also:

      Encryption hides <insert crime here> : Backdoor all the encryption, or ban it outright. Then only the crims will be using it and although you dont know what they are saying you can find them using all the cameras and drones.

  14. Chris G Silver badge

    I find it ironic that 80 years ago Britain went to war to protect the World from totalitarianism and now it's embracing it.

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Actually not

      80 years ago Britain declared war on Germany because Germany had invaded Poland. Why did Britain do that, since it had no way of helping Poland?

      Because FDR conned the stupid British and French governments into signing up to "deter" Hitler. He told them they should "guarantee Poland's integrity" - meaning that if war began between Poland and Germany they were to declare war on Germany. FDR had his ambassadors all but promise that, if this happened, the USA would join the war against Germany "real soon".

      What actually happened was that France and Britain pointlessly declared war on Germany, then did nothing about it for over 6 months. After wondering why they did that, the Germans finally decided to react - which they did by conquering France in about 45 minutes and very nearly conquering Britain. Then they lost interest and turned to the USSR, which was more of a challenge.

      Britain never had any intention of "protecting the world from totalitarianism" or any such nonsense - if only because the British maintained totalitarian rule over about one third of the entire world. (It was known as "the British Empire").

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Actually not

        Britain did have an interest in suppressing an upstart continental superpower though. Dominos and all that. Reasonable decision do get made for the most accidental events and the law of unintended consequences is strong around the world.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: Actually not

          Yes indeed. Right from the 1880s, Germany suffered from an acute case of totalitarianism envy. All the poor lambs wanted was an empire of their own where they could subjugate millions of foreigners and kill any they didn't like the look of.

          The current article under discussion describes what happens when British authorities forget that Essex Man is not African or Asian, and reacts badly to being shoved around. (Not of course that all Africans or Asians react well to it).

      2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: Actually not

        "very nearly conquering Britain"

        You mean when we wiped the floor with their Luftwaffe?

        When we steadfastly stood against they only weapon they had left, bombs falling due to gravity?

        When we perfected a new technology to decode their transmissions, and then hid that from them while we fed them false information to miss lead them?

        When we invented a technology that let us see their planes and their positions, whilst they had no idea?

        When we all hunkered down and dug for victory, spurned on by a leader, the likes of which we never had before?

        When they were playing with flying rockets that randomly dropped on our people, we were developing super heavy bombs that would slice through the ground and turn a bunker into a crater. Oh, we also made a bouncing bomb that bounced on the water and took out some of their dams crippling their production (at least for a while).

        Yep. They really came close to conquering us. The only way they were able to affect us was by bombing us and trying to starve us, till we invented a computer and the yanks turned up. Oh we had a tough time of it for sure. But who won?

        Their rockets? Yep we took them too.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: "very nearly conquering Britain"

          Yeah, then. It is the opinion of many historians who have studied the period that if Hitler had not vetoed the invasion plan in 1940 then the UK would have fallen. Had that happened, an embarrassingly large number of the population would have kowtowed and we'd quite probably have given the entire empire's resources (not yet spent, at that point) to the Nazis, at which point both Stalin and Roosevelt would have been toast.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: "very nearly conquering Britain"

            "Yeah, then. It is the opinion of many historians who have studied the period that if Hitler had not vetoed the invasion plan in 1940 then the UK would have fallen."

            That's true. On the other hand, it's not the complete truth. The reasons for vetoing the invasion plans were highly relevant too. The invasion plans were not vetoed on a whim.

          2. MJI Silver badge

            Re: "very nearly conquering Britain"

            They would not have been able to land a large enough force to do much beyond spending the rest of the war inside a POW camp.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Actually not

          But who won?

          Good question (looks at Germany's position of dominance in the EU..they got what they wanted, a bit later than planned, but they still got it..)

          Isn't there a saying about winning the battle and losing the peace? Considering all that Britain lost as a result of that war, the victory you allude to was Pyrrhic at best as far as we're concerned.

        3. TechDrone

          Re: Actually not

          The outcome of the Battle of Britain was as much due to German strategic mistakes as to the Dowdings command system or the combat skills of the pilots. The change to bombing cities gave the RAF time to repair facilities that had been severely degraded - otherwise many sources agree that it's unlikely they could have fought on much longer.

          Don't forget that Germany too had radar and a leader who could inspire his population. The bouncing bomb was only used on a single operation, and the losses to 617 were very high, not to mention civilians and forced workers downstream.

          Don't take my word for this, do some reasearch maybe starting with iwm.org as an example. Or eveen some of the history pieces here on El Reg for a more nuanced view.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Actually not

            I read somewhere that more fighters were being produced than lost, that we would have just used further north airfields.

            In few words they did not have a chance of beating us during BoB.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Actually not

        Britain never had any intention of "protecting the world from totalitarianism"

        Maybe you don't know why it was later called World War 2? Hint: Guess what had just ended barely 20 years earlier. The whole of Europe was watching what Germany was doing considering what they had just been through Sadly, most of the European leaders seemed to have your attitude.

  15. ma1010 Silver badge

    The police "fined" him.

    I don't know how UK law works, so I could be totally wrong here. In the U.S., when we say the cops "fined" someone, we generally mean the person was given a citation. If you don't feel the citation was deserved, instead of just paying it, you can go to court and fight it. Doesn't this man have some option for fighting this "fine" if he chooses to do so?

    If so, I would expect him to fight it. If he does, it would be good to know the outcome.

    1. Aqua Marina

      Re: The police "fined" him.

      Yes, the process is similar to over here. To challenge the fine means you have to attend court. If you are employed this means you lose a days pay. If you win, then (magistrates) court awards you £50 compensation which may cover your employment losses, or it may not. Most people just pay the spot* fines, because they face slightly larger losses to fight it.

      *Spot fines despite the name, are not spot fines. You are given a ticket and have to pay it within 30 days usually or contest it.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The police "fined" him.

        "If you are employed this means you lose a days pay."

        Or book a days annual leave and not lose a days pay :-)

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: The police "fined" him.

          Or book a days annual leave and not lose a days pay

          And lose a day of your leisure time instead. It may not have an easily definable monetary value, but most people do value their leisure (non-working) days.

    2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: The police "fined" him.

      Ah. So thats what a citation is.

      I was always confused about why the US police were handing out links to verified sources.

  16. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

    You COWARDLY Brits need to TAKE BACK YOUR COUNTRY and get RID of these arsehole politicians and coppers !!! YOU HOLD THE POWER --- VOTE THEM OUT COMPLETELY AND THEN ARREST THEM AND TRY THEM -- ALL -- FOR TREASON AGAINST THE BRITISH PEOPLE !!!!

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Mind you blood pressure...

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "Mind your blood pressure..."

        That's kind of you. Many people would just leave them to it.

    2. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Like you let the Republicans put a cartoon character with Alzheimer's related dementia who declared bankruptcy six times in the White House?

      Then there is the opioid epidemic the pharmaceutical companies made billions out of.

      Oh, add civil forfeiture where any hick town police can just take everything you have. There was one case where a family's house was taken because the son had smoked cannabis. Didn't even deal it.

      Plus - this is the good one - poor people vote for Republicans even the Republicans make them poorer and vote against those who would help them. You know, things like better health care.

      Go back under your stone.

    3. onemark03

      Stop preaching. You Americans need to do something about policing in your country.

  17. Marcus Fil

    Bloke fined after getting up in the morning

    TFIFY: he was not fined for hiding his face, if anything, he was fined for overreacting to Police curiousity. Really, resorting to "The Sun" level of headlines does not befit a quality publication such as "The Register"; it does, however, bring in a whole raft [rave?] of OTT commentards.

  18. Chozo

    Even when you do have a positive identification it's sometimes not a lot of help...

    https://youtu.be/NEBruJ3TGMs

  19. veti Silver badge

    I foresee a market opportunity

    Coming soon to an open-air market near you: pre-pixellation masks, consisting of differently-aligned blocks of translucent plastic, with clear panes or holes over the eyes...

    What are you waiting for?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I foresee a market opportunity

      I buy pixelated hood masks on line.

      Not expensive.

      AC for obvious reasons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I foresee a market opportunity

        A source would be useful.

        1. TechDrone
          Big Brother

          Re: I foresee a market opportunity

          The hood maker will get to those that need one. Take a good look inside the next box of cerials you buy.

  20. The Central Scrutinizer

    So now the police can fine you for not wanting to be surveilled? That is totally screwed up. I wasn't aware that being annoying was an "offence". What is the world coming to?

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Not quite

      As I understand it - which is hard - the citizen was fined, not for covering his face, but for swearing at the police who told him he mustn't cover his face.

      Not only is every citizen required to have complete knowledge of the tnrie corpus of law at any moment - something that no lawyer or politician, or even judge, aspires to - but if he gets angry and swears he is then committing a crime.

    2. Archtech Silver badge

      PC, crisply defined

      'I wasn't aware that being annoying was an "offence"'.

      That belief is known as "political correctness".

  21. sed gawk Silver badge

    Said it before...

    IF you find yourself in the position of having to deal with plod.

    1) Be polite.

    2) Say nothing, don't explain, don't justify, silence is your right. "No Comment", "Am I free to go?", "I would like legal representation" are the only three things you should say, and silence is better than any of them.

    3) Ask for a lawyer, check they are in fact a lawyer and not plod.

    4) You don't have to assist, don't give your name, or any other information. Let them read it off your driving license etc other pieces of ID on your person.

    5) Don't consume any food offered to you if at all possible, water is fine, but they are not there to help you, they are there to provide information to CPS who will decide if "reasonable prospect of securing a conviction", sadly it doesn't matter to them to convict the right people. A "solve" is all that counts, as in their rather grubby book with large print, the court of appeal is there to deal with that.

    6) Don't get lippy, 1096 deaths in police custody since 1990, zero convictions. https://www.inquest.org.uk/deaths-in-police-custody

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pixels

    As has been said, you only have to change a pixel or two. So just put a dot of colour on a random bit of your face every day, or if you are really Machiavellian, the same place every day except the day you rob the bank. The ultimate irony is that we all probably blame crime on 'pimply faced youths' - who are the very people with natural organic anti-face recognition technology.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well at least it's a way to recover that £200,000 spent on the technology with zero ROI.

    Two and a half thousand more £90 files - job done!

  24. Imsimil Berati-Lahn

    Respirator and sunglasses from now on then.

    My respiratory distress in urban environments is such that I need to wear PPE to avoid medical problems, officer. Oh, and it's sunny out. Hence the shades. Thank you for your concern, officer. Keep up the good work.

    My twopenneth regarding the scene:

    The lad's within his rights to wear whatever the hell he wants but in fairness to 'plod, he was being a bit of a gobby twat. Plod don't like twats, particularly gobby ones. I'm trying to bear that in mind with my elaborate ruse.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just avoid Romford. Can't be that hard to do eh?

  26. JaitcH
    WTF?

    What Of Beards, Sunglasses and Contagious Diseases?

    Beards and sunglasses could easily be called disguises.

    And in polluted climbs, or should the wearer have a contagious disease, a mask covering the mouth and nose is an accepted form of protection.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What Of Beards, Sunglasses and Contagious Diseases?

      '..or should the wearer have a contagious disease, '

      ..or, should the wearer have the misfortune to live in a run-down maritime town beset by visiting plague ships masquerading as luxury cruise liners, disgorging their disease ridden vectors cunningly disguised as tourists, coughing and spluttering their ways around the spectacular local historic sites....

      (well, hello there Greenock...)

  27. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    A thought occurs to me

    Yes - second one this year!

    If you close one eye very tightly it totally changes your facial geometry - and if questioned, you just say it's very sore after a speck of dirt got into it.

  28. julian.smith
    Alert

    Britons never never will be slaves

    LMAO

  29. fraunthall

    Fascism at Work in NAZI old Britain

    I didn't realize it, but Hitler and his GESTAPO must have won WW2, as this story definitively establishes beyond any doubt. Don't worry, all you poor Brits born to unwed biological parents, it is happening every-where else in the world. You only get fined, not necessarily beaten up, tortured and murdered by the State, or am I wrong about that bit?

  30. JohnG

    I could imagine some folk might start trolling these camera trials by wearing dazzle camouflage make-up or similar. It probably wouldn't be the sort of thing that someone with a job would want to be doing but it might considered as field work for anyone on a political science course or studying human rights law.

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