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Steven Auld
Posted on 17 Jul 2008 2:03 pm

You beg for this Bill so: "That would have the benefit of securing an improvement in the overall base quality of the use of CCTV in this country and of providing a platform for minimum standards that can easily be reviewed and altered."

If the statement "reviewed and altered" means that subsequent legislation can enforce 24/7 high quality monitoring over well-behaved citizens for purposes that are not "to catch an suspect of a specific crime" but rather "to track an individual that is likely to commit a crime" then this Bill is one step on a slippery slope towards "Big Brother" spying on the public for politically motivated reasons.

For example: the government's refusal to retain the Class-C classification of Cannabis is motivated by politics ("sending out the wrong message" is a political motive) in spite of consultation by experts closer to the real impact that this drug has on health, criminality and society.

While you are citing examples of some abhorrent violent behaviour as a background this this Bill, how long will it be before CCTV monitoring in public places is used to prosecute smokers for dropping butts? With prosecuting authorities (and, likely, even private agencies) being subject to targets so that their funding can be justified and the fact that tobacco smokers are much, much, more likely to be in possession of cannabis than non-smokers, this practice might even be imposed as an initiative for catching more people in possession - including drugs that are classified as illegal for political reasons.

Now, who is being hysterical: an authority for wishing to impose 24/7 CCTV monitoring or a protest campaign aiming to restrict it?

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