"The Price of Privacy: How local authorities spent £515m on CCTV in four years" is a new report from Britain's Big Brother Watch, and it documents how the skyrocketing expansion of Britain's police and local government surveillance has resulted in over 4,000 fewer patrolling police officers, less privacy, and no appreciable reduction in crime.
CCTV has been viewed by those controlling expenditure as a cheap
alternative to conventional policing, with no demonstrable equivalent
success in reducing crime.
The efficiency of CCTV varies hugely across the country, with cameras
regularly not working or turned off, footage being deleted before it can be
used and pictures of insufficient quality for court purposes.
Local authorities have spent an unprecedented amount of money to make
the United Kingdom the most watched nation of people anywhere in the
world. That amount of spending on CCTV is steadily increasing, with funds
being diverted from conventional policing budgets to pay for the new
CCTV serves as a costly placebo for many local authorities designed to
appease neighbourhoods suffering from anti-social behaviour problems.
As the number of CCTV cameras increases, so does the potential number of
people being watched and the number of council officers watching – with
worrying implications for personal privacy and data security.
The lack of enforceable regulation means that more intrusive use of CCTV –
for example, in public toilets, schools or with audio recording capability – can
only be challenged in the courts by way of judicial review.
The Price of Privacy:
How local authorities spent £515m on
CCTV in four years
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