Sunday, 20 May 2007

Police Cheif Fears "An Orwellian Situation" In Britain

Deputy chief constable of Hampshire Ian Readhead said Britain could become a surveillance society with cameras on every street corner. He fears the spread of CCTV cameras is leading to "an Orwellian situation".

Readhead expressed concerns about CCTV being used in small towns and villages where crime rates were low and whether the relatively low crime levels justified the expense and intrusion.
Mr Readhead also called for the retention of some DNA evidence and the use of speed cameras to be reviewed.

"I'm really concerned about what happens to the product of these cameras, and what comes next?" Readhead said. "If it's in our villages, are we really moving towards an Orwellian situation where cameras are at every street corner? I really don't think that's the kind of country that I want to live in."

I couldn't agree with Readhead more. If not now, when do we draw the line? There are already up to 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain which is about one for every 14 people. The UK also has the world's biggest DNA database, with 3.6 million DNA samples on file. Labour will make it mandatory to own biometric ID Cards if it wins the next election. What is next? Will the government decide it is necessary for our safety to implant microchips under our skin or put CCTV cameras in our houses? This may sound far fetched but so did biometric ID Cards or "Talking" CCTV cameras 20 years ago.

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