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London Police Seek To Install CCTV In Pubs

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the well-they-do-call-it-a-public-house dept.

Privacy 293

JCWDenton writes "The Met Police got a short sharp rap over the knuckles yesterday, as the Office of the Information Commissioner questioned what looks very much like a blanket policy to force CCTV onto public houses in certain parts of London. The story begins with a letter to the Guardian last week, from Nick Gibson. He is currently renovating Islington pub The Drapers Arms, after its previous owners allowed it to go insolvent and then disappeared. In his letter, he argues that if he had merely taken over an existing licence, the police could not have imposed any additional conditions. However, because this was now a new licence, the police were able to make specific requests, including one particular request in respect of installing CCTV."

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This is a violation of privacy... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947343)

I don't want the british police looking at my pubes!

Re:This is a violation of privacy... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947361)

Yo! Ass - make that - arsewipe! Not all us read that erag so it's NEW to us !!

Re:This is a violation of privacy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947607)

I don't want the british police looking at my pubes!

Well, I do... I love men in uniform.

Can we have a bit less old news? (-1, Troll)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947347)

I read this when it went up on The Register, 5 days ago. Can people please check the timestamp before submitting/approving stories? The normal 2 or 3 days old news is just about passable, but 5 days is getting silly.

Re:Can we have a bit less old news? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947379)

It could be worse. This could be the 4th duplicate article on slashdot after 5 days...

Re:Can we have a bit less old news? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947575)

It could be worse. This could be the 1st duplicate post in this thread after 1 day.

Re:Can we have a bit less old news? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947403)

I have mod points, but modding you down would not convey that you are a douche properly. WTF was the point of your post? The stories here are not always the most recent, the idea is that they are relevant. get over it or STFU.

Re:Can we have a bit less old news? (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947421)

I read this when it went up on The Register, 5 days ago. Can people please check the timestamp before submitting/approving stories? The normal 2 or 3 days old news is just about passable, but 5 days is getting silly.

I'm psychic, your post is about 6 days old to me, you hypocrite.

Re:Can we have a bit less old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947427)

Whine much?

Some of us are not in the UK and don't read The Register. That doesn't mean this topic, related to privacy and an ever-increasing surveillance society, isn't important or relevant for most of the readers of slashdot.

Without this post, I wouldn't have known about it. Neither would thousands and thousands of other people.

Who are you to decide what the "allowed" time limit of news items is? Get over yourself.

Re:Can we have a bit less old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947563)

Agreed. I wouldn't have spotted it if it wasn't on Slashdot

Furthermore... (4, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947603)

... I know the misleading summary helps with the old /. "ZOMG BRITAIN IS A POLICE STATE" propaganda, but if you actually *read* the article (an unpopular idea, I know) you'll see that the police were swiftly kicked into touch over it. I believe the actual phrase used was "Not now, not ever."

Re:Furthermore... (0, Flamebait)

box4831 (1126771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947739)

Britain is a police state! = flamebait
USA is a police state! = insightful

welcome to slashdot

Re:Furthermore... (4, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947795)

Because no one read the article:

However, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Information Commissioner said: "Hardwiring surveillance into the UKâ(TM)s pubs raises serious privacy concerns. We recognise that CCTV plays an important role in the prevention and detection of crime, and can help to reduce crime in areas of high population density, such as city boroughs.
"However, we are concerned at the prospect of landlords being forced into installing CCTV in pubs as a matter of routine in order to meet the terms of a licence. The use of CCTV must be reasonable and proportionate if we are to maintain public trust and confidence in its deployment.
"Installing surveillance in pubs to combat specific problems of rowdiness and bad behaviour may be lawful, but hardwiring in blanket measures where there is no history of criminal activity is likely to breach data protection requirements. We will be contacting the police and others involved to establish the facts and discuss the situation in Islington.â

Follow the letter of their request... (3, Interesting)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947359)

Install the camera, but switch off its power-supply, or spray-paint the lense, or...

You get the idea. As long as their wording is so vague as to simply stipulate "install... a camera" it seems pretty simple to me.

'Course its trickier if they're more specific about the camera's operation, data connections, power-supply, etc.

Re:Follow the letter of their request... (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947435)

FTA

"I was stunned to find the police were prepared to approve, ie not fight, our licence on condition that we installed CCTV capturing the head and shoulders of everyone coming into the pub, to be made available to them upon request."

Capturing the head (and shoulders?) of everyone who walked into the bar is fairly specific. Of course, you could interpret that as "The cameras must behead (and beshoulder?) everyone who walks into the bar" but I think that would be bad for buisness as well...

You could still get away with using an extremely low resolution or out of focus camera that would show heads (and shoulders) but not anything identifyable. Of course they'd remedy that quickly.

Re:Follow the letter of their request... (2, Interesting)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947591)

Oddly, that quote only appears in the Register not in the Gruniad, where the letter was supposedly first sent.

Re:Follow the letter of their request... (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947531)

Do that, and it's just a matter of time until they fix whatever loophole allowed you to disable it while following the letter. If you disagree in principle, then fight the principle, not the letter. Even if you beat the letter, their principle remains in law, and will bite you in the ass next time round.

Re:Follow the letter of their request... (1)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947961)

Someone needs to come out with ECM for the rest of us in this new surveillance world. Jamming cameras isn't hard, but its not cheap sans mass production behind it.

1984 (1)

contra_mundi (1362297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947371)

We're coming George, faster than ever!

Re:1984 (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947439)

1984 was supposed to be a cautionary tale NOT an instruction manual!

Re:1984 (1)

turbotroll (1378271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947543)

1984 was supposed to be a cautionary tale NOT an instruction manual!

True. The purpose of SF is often to warn of the future, not predict it.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947965)

Unless you are that faggot David Brin.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947459)

'And what in hell's name is a pint?' said the barman, leaning forward with the tips of his fingers on the counter.
'Ark at 'im ! Calls 'isself a barman and don't know what a pint is! Why, a pint's the 'alf of a quart, and there's four quarts to the gallon. 'Ave to teach you the A, B, C next.'
'Never heard of 'em,' said the barman shortly. 'Litre and half litre -- that's all we serve.

Re:1984 (2, Funny)

Inda (580031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947565)

Man walks into a bar and orders a drink.

"Barman, would you like to hear a blond joke?" says the man.

The barman leans over with a serious look in his eyes. "Before you tell your joke, let me tell you five things", he said. "I'm blond and I have a baseball bat under the bar. The doorman is blond and weighs as much as a horse. My wife is blond can carry a barrel of beer under each arm. The cleaner is blond with a black belt in karate. And finally, the gentlemen at the end of the bar is blond, ex-SAS with a screw loose"

The barmen maintains eye contact with the man. "You still want to tell your joke?"

"No way! Not if I've got explain it five times!"

Re:1984 (0, Flamebait)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947501)

Um. A little bit of an over reaction.

Fact: People go to bars to get drunk.
Fact: Drunk people are either really funny or really dangerous
Fact: Drunk people who commit violence need to be prosecuted
Fact: It's easier to prove guilt when there's proof

Re:1984 (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947525)

Um. A little bit of an over reaction.

Fact: People go to bars to get drunk.
Fact: Drunk people are either really funny or really dangerous
Fact: Drunk people who commit violence need to be prosecuted
Fact: It's easier to prove guilt when there's proof

Um. A little bit of a stupid reaction.

Fact: People go to bars to socialize
Fact: Drunk people often pass out
Fact: People who have passed out are generally incapable of committing violence
Fact: Its easier to convict the innocent when you can cherry pick from lots and lots of circumstantial evidence

Re:1984 (3, Informative)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947561)

I am guessing you have never been out in a major UK town/city after midnight.

Not that I am in support of the CCTV plan but to suggest that drunk people are not causing serious problems in UK towns suggests a woeful lack of experience in the subject matter. It is practically impossible to go out on the town on a Friday or Saturday night, returning after midnight, without seeing at least one act of violence or criminal damage.

Yes, extremely drunk people pass out, it is what they do *before* that happens that is causing the problems.

Re:1984 (4, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947653)

The solution isn't "more cameras" as the cameras doesn't prevent crime. They might sort of help catch the people, but they're not going to stop crime.

No, the solution is to get rid of violent drunk people. Not by throwing them in jail forever. Just outlaw alcohol.

Then you'll complain about prohibition, but outlawing alcohol is only the first step. Alcohol brings out the worst in people - that's why we'll outlaw it. But to give people a chance to wind down with a nice relaxing substance, we'll legalise cannabis.

Think about it - who'd you rather get run over by? Someone who's had too much to drink or someone who's smoked too much cannabis? Hint, the guy on cannabis is likely to be sitting in the passenger seat, and if he somehow manages to find the driver's seat, he'll be likely to drive at 3 miles an hour.

Secondly - who'd you rather get into a fight with? A drunkard or someone who's high on cannabis? The former is likely to smash you over the head with a beer bottle, the latter is likely to just start laughing and pointing at the pretty rainbows.

Re:1984 (3, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947677)

Drunk crimes are irrational crimes, so rational deterrents (like cameras) won't work so well.

Being able to stop them in the act (like putting police on the beat) is a good way to stop that sort of crime.

Re:1984 (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947723)

Something as severe as a night in jail might be enough to make some people think twice before having "one too many."

Similarly, CCTV doesn't seem to be so much of a deterrent as it is an additional piece of evidence to be used in court.

A convenience store clerk who "swears he remembers" the face of the guy who robbed the register cannot provide a convincing eyewitness account (there are thousands of scientific studies to back this up). However, a CCTV image that shows the guy robbing the register is pretty damning, and rather difficult to refute.

The cops also get watched on the CCTV cameras -- this can go a long way toward ensuring that they stay in line, given that virtually all of their actions are going to be under intense scrutiny. I think we can all agree that the dashboard cameras placed in most cop cars are a fantastic idea, as they protect both the police and the citizens.

Re:1984 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947911)

Being able to stop them in the act (like putting police on the beat) is a good way to stop that sort of crime.

But that would involve taking money away from ethnic-minority-outreach days, women in policing events, vital paperwork and CCTV maintenance and operation! It would undermine the very basis of modern British policing.

Re:1984 (-1, Troll)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947799)

Except that we have really strong cannabis here. Someone high on that can be very dangerous. I tell you what, you come over here and ask the gang of youths at the back of the bus to turn their mobile phone MP3 players off and stop stinking up the bus with their joints and see how quickly the situation turns ugly.

Re:1984 (1)

CheshireFerk-o (412142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947945)

see this dude knows whats up. apply this to the US by selling cannabis in liquor stores at pretty much any price, we can get out of national debt. and then we wouldnt have to bail-out the junk food industry =D

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947749)

There is a simple sollution to this: get rid of the "closing time". That way you prevent (1) eveybody trying to get drunk before closing time and (2) all the drunks being on the street at the same time.

Re:1984 (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947869)

You also prevent (3) anyone who lives nearby from getting any sleep.

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947779)

erm no.

Fact: Some people go to bars to get drunk. Some to socialise.
Fact: Some drunk people are funny, some become antisocial, most behave.
Fact: A tiny minority of drunk people pass out. Most go home and wake up with a hangover.
Fact: Most alcohol related violence and other booze fuelled antisocial behaviour occurs outside of the bar.

CCTV cameras in city and town centres provide a very useful tool for the police when dealing with chucking out time and the inevitble problems.

No, just turn this around (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947559)

and demand cameras/microphones in the houses, offices, and cars of all public officials, elected or otherwise. Actually, make them wear an ankle bracelet as well.

It seems to me they are far more dangerous and corrupted than the general populace they wish to spy upon.

Make it a mandatory law.

Re:1984 (4, Informative)

RDW (41497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947769)

This actually goes one 'better' than 1984, where a pub was one of the few public places without a camera, though entering one would be considered a highly suspicious act for a non-prole ('It was horribly dangerous, but at any rate there was no telescreen in the room, a point he had made sure of as soon as he came in.').
   

saw that done (2, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947377)

They did that to a pub in my town (UK) once. Granted it was a really dodgy pub that most people avoided.

The result though was not only did the known nasty types stop going there, no-one else wnet there either, because we knew there were cameras in it.

Its since closed and reoppened under new ownership, a gay bar I beleive, sans cameras. I suspect the change in customer focus is because even though its almost ten years later, its still remembered by most as the pub that had cctv everywhere.

Re:saw that done (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947621)

I much as I dislike being filmed all the time, I must call bullshit on this. I live in England and worked for four years in a pub that had CCTV and it did not detour one customer.

Re:saw that done (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947889)

I live in England and worked for four years in a pub that had CCTV and it did not detour one customer.

I guess you reached this scientifically valid result by asking the people who were drinking there. The question is, did it detour (I mean deter) any potential customers? Selection bias, look it up.

Re:saw that done (1)

jellybear (96058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947973)

Bullshit. I know one person who thinks you're wrong.

Re:saw that done (3, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947683)

It's not exactly unusual for pubs to have CCTV, like anonymous, I call BS.

Re:saw that done (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947861)

It's not exactly unusual for pubs to have CCTV, like anonymous, I call BS.

I'll bet its unusual to have individual and undisguised cctv camaras pointed at every table and cubicle. I've not known it be as bad as the pub in question. I'm disregarding the usual unobtrusive cctv presence.

Not that I wish to detract from your obvious need to refute my claim, after all, thats half the fun of slashdot, or all of it, for you...

Priva ground ? (3, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947387)

Since when can police install camera on private ground or private shop ?

Re:Priva ground ? (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947407)

Council has to approve a new business. They consult the police about security and thew police ask for CCTV.

Re:Priva ground ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947633)

The police are not the ones installing the CCTV system. The article's title is mis-leading.

They're saying that they will not object to the application for a liquor license if the pub installs its own CCTV system that records the heads and shoulders of people coming in.

Once they install a system, the police will be able to ask for information from it (as they could with any other system). The owner could of course object to giving it to them, but then the police could get a warrant/court order to get it.

Re:Priva ground ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947661)

Its not private, its a "Public House", or "Pub" for short.

Re:Priva ground ? (1)

Signius (855358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947675)

It is to with a License being granted..... If the magistrates say you got to have X amount of CCTV cameras in X locations to get your license granted...... NO CCTV Cameras = NO License ergo NO Business ALSO WTF does Slashdot refuse to put carriage returns into my posts ?????? and just post it in was huge paragraph ?

Re:Priva ground ? (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947699)

Hit options and select "plain old text".

Re:Priva ground ? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947679)

Try to run a pub without an alcohol licence, see what happens. If it's known that the pub causes a lot of trouble, the police can set conditions otherwise they'll strip their licence. A pub that lets clients get heavily drunk , violent and cause problems for the town.

They can't make them put in a camera but they have a very strong way of persuading them. One of the conditions of getting an alocohol licence is ensuring your customers aren't a nuisance.

Re:Priva ground ? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947909)

>>>Since when can police install camera on private ground or private shop ?

Ever since the politicians redefined "private shop" as "public facility" and thereby extended antidiscrimination laws over stores, bars, hotels, et cetera. And now they are extending their power even further. If they can force you to stop discriminating against blacks or females, then they can also force you to meet other requirements - like installing cameras.

Again as 1984 demonstrated, redefine words to extend power. Your store may be privately owned, but it's now a "public facility" under the law and therefore must meet whatever rules the politicians decide, almost the same as if it were publicly owned.

This is ... a good thing? (-1, Flamebait)

sheriff_p (138609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947413)

I don't understand why people get so up in arms about this stuff.

Total times CCTV coverage in the UK has been abused in some Orwellian circle-jerk fantasy like people are always warning it is: 0

Total times CCTV coverage has put bad people away: hundreds

Seriously, what are you guys doing that means you mind being on camera?

Re:This is ... a good thing? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947437)

It's called privacy, you dipshit.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947791)

In public spaces? Moron.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947449)

I can think of numerous times where putting cameras in pubs is useful in England. The amount of times where people are being glassed (where someone rams a glass into your face, cutting you up) and the total level of drunken violence each week is just asking for more evidence to convict these idiots that go out each week to get drunk then violent on purpose.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (4, Insightful)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947463)

What will police do when there is no more crime? Will they just sit and do nothing? Or will they go after any people which do not agree with them? First they come after criminals, but you are not criminal so you stay quiet. Then they come after child molesters, but you are not one, so you stay quiet. Then they come after punks and people who don't want to be government sheep. But you are not one of them. Then they will have only sheep in society, so they can do as they like, increase their wages, say "there are terrorists who want to hurt you out there, we must still rule to protect you" and in less than 30 years there will be new dictatorship. Of course if you are sheep, who are afraid of terrorists, you will be glad to live in dictatorship, where your children can't have education or good payed job, or just go anywhere they like, because you are not privileged one. They will have crap jobs, no health care, nothing, and they will never become privileged through ingenuity or hard work (typically in current times such people have better). It's like boiling frogs very slowly, but suddenly it's too hot and frogs don't jump out.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947487)

What will police do when there is no more crime?

Quite a dreamer, aren't you?

Will they just sit and do nothing?

Likely many will get laid off.

Or will they go after any people which do not agree with them?

They won't be able to do the latter legally, so no.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (4, Insightful)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947539)

Recently in Poland there was scandal with CCTV. Operators had bonuses for spotting committed crimes. But not for preventing them. Do you think they prevented any crimes? Cameras give police very much power. But power corrupts. And normal people can't for example look at every time what police does, like they can look what we normal people do. Try standing with a camera in front of police dept. for longer than 15 minutes.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (2, Insightful)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947655)

You're at the crux of the matter. The surveillance is very one sided, if these people want to make a surveillance society it needs to be both ways. From the constable walking the street to the highest politicians it needs to be transparent. I think that CCTV is a horrible idea, I'm not going to rehash as many people have pointed out exactly what it doesn't do.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947705)

One sided surveillance... particularly true in the UK as it is now illegal to photograph police officers.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (3, Insightful)

legirons (809082) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947735)

You're at the crux of the matter. The surveillance is very one sided, if these people want to make a surveillance society it needs to be both ways.

Yet sousveillance just took another hit as they're proposing to make a crime of photographing the police [bjp-online.com]

One privacy rule for us, one for them.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947569)

Will they just sit and do nothing?

Likely many will get laid off.

And they will not protest? People who have work want to still have work. They will find ways to still have work (like firefighters who go and put fires, so they can report them as first and have bonuses).

Or will they go after any people which do not agree with them?

They won't be able to do the latter legally, so no.

Yeah, because they won't change law ever.
If you think governments want only laws good for people and don't do anything secretly, read about ACTA [wikipedia.org]

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947583)

First they come after criminals, but you are not criminal so you stay quiet. Then they come after child molesters, but you are not one, so you stay quiet. Then they come after punks and people who don't want to be government sheep. But you are not one of them. Then they will have only sheep in society, so they can do as they like, increase their wages, say "there are terrorists who want to hurt you out there, we must still rule to protect you" and in less than 30 years there will be new dictatorship.

While I agree with your larger point, that's truly a stupid take on the "First they come for...." story.

Also, from what I read, crime is hardly going down, IT JUST DOESN'T WORK. There are always ways around it for a determined criminal. So the "out of business" is nonsense.

At the very least, even if crime were to become minimal/nonexistant through some miracle, Police have more to do than just criminals. They have legitimate functions in maintaining law and order - traffic, disputes with your neighbor, crowd control so people don't stampede each other to death at times, etcetera.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947625)

I agree that this "first they come for you" is little stupid, but if "it just doesn't work" why do they insist on installing cameras everywhere? It's not like these cameras are just plain annoyance and not useful, but we should be careful not to lose all of our liberties.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947783)

The idea of no more crime is so ludicrous at this point as to be not worthwhile considering.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947787)

First they come after criminals, but you are not criminal so you stay quiet. Then they come after child molesters, but you are not one, so you stay quiet.

Well, at least they got their priorities right and got the criminals first, rather than those innocent child molesters.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947849)

Jesus christ. Why is it that every slashdotter seems paranoid about the government? Maybe the average slashdotter should cut down on reading novels about big brother and the government killing everyone. It might stop them from getting confused with fact and fiction. Everyone on /. seems to think that the nature of all government actions is pure evil. It's absurd and I'm getting tired of the ignorance.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947875)

Read a history book, dumbass

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947925)

What will police do when there is no more crime?

Assuming a spherical cow of uniform density...

Seriously, how on earth did a post starting with that line end up being modded insightful?

Re:This is ... a good thing? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947467)

Well you see, a pub is private property.

Once police have the power to install cameras in private property, they'll be able to install them anywhere they want... say, in your home.

Think that's far-fetched? The law is constantly being chipped away, bit by bit. First, cameras are put in pubs. Then since hey, we got them installed in pubs, we can probably install them in restaurants too. They sell alcohol, don't they? What's that? You want to stay in business? You're going to need to co-operate with us, then.

Now since cameras are already in pubs and restaurants, what's the harm in having them in workplaces? That'll sure make it easier to establish people's whereabouts and make sure that anyone shredding corporate documents gets the scrutiny they deserve. What's that? You want to stay in business? You're going to need to co-operate with us, then.

Then hey, since everyone is already being monitored at work and everywhere else, the precedent has clearly been set. The government will next want to install cameras in criminal's homes or the homes of their families, and they'll get it, because the law up to this point has said that cameras are allowed on private property.

Well at this point, why don't we just roll the thing out everywhere? If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear, right? What are you all doing that means you mind being on camera?

There are direct parallels with the storage of DNA. First, it was just the criminal's DNA. Now, it's everybody who gets arrested, even if they aren't ever charged with a crime. Next, you'll be pulled over by mobile DNA units and have to submit to tests to ensure that you aren't a criminal, without any probable cause whatsoever.

This is EXACTLY how the law is chipped away. Once chipped away, it's difficult if not impossible to go back to the way it was.

Feel free to dismiss that as an "Orwellian circle-jerk fantasy". You clearly don't understand anything about how the law works and how politicians leverage the law to get what they want. Nor do you have any regard whatsoever for the sort of world your children will grow up in.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (-1, Flamebait)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947577)

They [police] don't have the power to install cameras. However not allowing a license because the premises doesn't have CCTV is perfectly acceptable, just like how you'd lose a license if the hygiene was unacceptable.

I don't see why you care so much since the police haven't got access to the CCTV footage without physically asking for it.

I'm sure you'd feel differently if you got badly hit by a drunken idiot and there was no evidence, wait what am I saying. You're a raving privacy loon, you don't go outside.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (3, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947507)

I don't understand why people get so up in arms about this stuff.

Of course you don't understand, the moment you asserted that CCTV had never been abused in the UK you showed you didn't comprehend the concept that you might not know everything that ever happened.

Regardless, even if CCTV hasn't been abused ever it doesn't mean expanding it is a wise idea. It would be hard to argue that implanting people with tracking chips, recording all biometrics yearly and installing ubiquitous CCTV wouldn't cause less crime if the system was used correctly. The arguement against monitoring at that scale is that as the monitoring expands it becomes easier for the system to be used to silence political dissent etc and harder for people to resist.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947593)

Are you using "political dissent" to mean "stealing shit" or "beat people up"? Do you have anything which ISN'T theoretical?

The fact remains that CCTV has lead to more real criminals behind bars and your wank dreams of 1984 have never appeared. Grow up or stop thinking you have the right to flaunt the law, whichever applies.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947713)

The fact remains that CCTV has lead to more real criminals behind bars

Do you have a cite for this assertion?

Re:This is ... a good thing? (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947627)

Total times CCTV coverage in the UK has been abused in some Orwellian circle-jerk fantasy like people are always warning it is:

Really? That's interesting because another forum I'm a member of happens to have someone who's likely to lose his job tomorrow because a store manager handed over CCTV footage in breach of the law.

Granted, what I'm saying is third-hand anecdotal evidence on a website like /. so it's probably not something you want to take as gospel truth - but perhaps if anyone else knows of similar examples it might illustrate that CCTV, like all tools, is open to abuse.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947747)

You just hurt your own case. He abused his position and lost his job thereby proving that there isn't a problem.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947763)

You just hurt your own case. He abused his position and lost his job thereby proving that there isn't a problem.

Didn't say the person who was likely to lose their job was the manager who handed over the CCTV tapes, did I?

Re:This is ... a good thing? (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947921)

Neither did he. The one who abused his position is the theif who got caught on camera, i.e. you. I mean, ummm, your friend.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947645)

The last study I read about CCTV usage showed that the operators spend more time fulfilling their voyeuristic proclivities than looking for crime.

So if you don't mind a room full of pigs looking at your fifteen year old daughter/sister's tits while a pack of rabid hoodies kick a nun to death and shag the body totally unnoticed, then it's all fine.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947859)

According to the news articles I've seen, and that's from reputable new sources, not scandal rags and rumor vids it's a little different.

Times CCTV in was abused? numerous...

Times CCTV put away bad people, by itself, very very few?
Times it's caused police to ignore something because they are watching something else or don't want to get off their butts? lots.

Times CCTV was used to harass someone doing nothing illegal? far too many.

Number of times these abusers of CCTV have been arrested or ticketed? Yeah right, like the cops are going to burn themselves...

What people are doing that they don't want on camera? Well, pretty much everything from looking at a pretty girl, to daydreaming, to tripping on a crack in the sidewalk, and even picking my nose.

Really, how do you feel when some creep you don't even know is standing one foot behind you scrutinizing everything you do? Just because it's metaphorical instead of strictly physical doesn't reduce the 'back off you creep' factor.

I haven't read or watched even one report that says the CCTV has been a success. They've all labeled it a huge boondoggle.

Re:This is ... a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947865)

Well, the CCTV systems where intended to curb serious crime in general, terrorism in particular. Now, some local councils have targeted littering, for example, and used the CCTV footage as a justification for an ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order). Just think of the children!

Post Orwellian... (1)

shic (309152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947419)

He should ask them to reconsider if he promises to sell beer and not stock gin.

At least (2, Funny)

oever (233119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947541)

now we know the reason for the ban on smoking in pubs.

I was going to post... (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947639)

... a lengthy rebuttal of the hopeless summary, but then I noticed it was the UK-hating Timothy that posted.

Timothy, why do you feel the need to misrepresent every story about the UK in the worst possible light? Did you even read the article in question?

Perhaps you should. The police aren't installing CCTV cameras in pubs. One police chief is recommending to the licensing board that grants licences to pubs that they require new licensees to fit CCTV. The police would not have access to the CCTV unless they came down and requested the tapes (or more likely DVR drive, these days).

Now - here's the important bit - are you paying attention? They were told that they couldn't do that. Let's just say that again to make sure you've got it - the police were told that they could not ask the licensing board to make installing CCTV a condition of the licence.

So, in fact, the police are *not* installing CCTV in pubs, for several different reasons.

It's called literacy, Timothy. You should try it.

you did post... (3, Interesting)

zuki (845560) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947773)

The row comes a week after a House of Lords report stated that the steady expansion of the "surveillance society" risked undermining fundamental freedoms including the right to privacy.

Peers said that Britain, with an estimated 4m CCTV cameras in use, had constructed one of the most extensive and technologically advanced surveillance systems in the world in the name of combating terrorism and crime and improving administrative efficiency.

However, the cross-party committee warned that "pervasive and routine" electronic surveillance was almost taken for granted adding that privacy is an "essential prerequisite to the exercise of individual freedom".

Lord Goodlad, the former Conservative chief whip and committee chairman, said that there could be no justification for this gradual but incessant creep towards every detail about an individual being recorded and pored over by the state.

"The huge rise in surveillance and data collection by the state and other organisations risks undermining the long-standing traditions of privacy and individual freedom which are vital for democracy," he said.

Well, undeniably the UK has slowly let itself become dominated by the mentality that maintaining a grid of CCTV cameras is the answer to reducing 'crime' and 'terrorism', and constantly stoking those fears in the public to allow for this 'creep' against personal privacy.

Funny when one looks at the statistics, but being that so many, many more people die of preventable car accidents and of heart attacks from eating too much junk food, why is it that the same expenditures aren't lavished on those areas?

Simple.

Arguably, there are many who sense that it has little to do with protecting the lives of citizens, but rather far more to do with the government jealously guarding its symbol of 'authority' and not wanting to lose face... If the goverment's mission was to truly protect the constituency (rather than its own authority), I imagine a lot of things would be done differently.

There is such a thing as the amount of acceptable risk one takes by doing everyday things like going to a pub, walking in the street and such. It is very telling, however, that these sorts of ideas are constantly being floated by the police, as in the example of some UK clubs having to submit an application form in advance listing the names and addresses of the artists and performers scheduled to appear, as well as style of music, in order to be allowed to have dance music event without being shut down.

Death by a thousand paper cuts of bureaucracy, which in the end doesn't truly prevent anything, but most certainly sets an aura of hysteria around every aspect of everyday life.

Z.

Re:I was going to post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947781)

It doesn't matter if its DVR or not. Once the system is in you can count on expanding on the program and connecting them. You don't know how the govt works by now?

Re:I was going to post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947785)

For me, it's more important to read the story for myself to realize they tried to have it done. Maybe the tense was incorrect, but the attempt was still made.

Re:I was going to post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947835)

Tim is onto something here! The UK is the new Soviet Union!

We've been needing a replacement for sometime. Life just isn't as fun without a repressive police state to make fun of. ;)

Re:I was going to post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947879)

There was always the US.

Re:I was going to post... (3, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947851)

Umm.. JCWDenton wrote the summary. Timothy is just the Slashdot "editor" who selects the high voted stories from the firehose, checks that it is in the right category and, maybe, that it has a link, and then pushes it to subscribers so they can tell him if it is a dupe.. and after 20 minutes or so, it goes live. He's in no way responsible for the summary, or the popularity of the story due to that selection.. if you don't like what is getting through to the front page, go to the firehose and vote. Maybe it would be nice if Timothy did read the story and did some fact checking or whatever, but that's not what Slashdot "editors" are paid to do.

What are Slashdot "editors" paid to do? (1)

redstar427 (81679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947997)

    Maybe it would be nice if Timothy did read the story and did some fact checking or whatever, but that's not what Slashdot "editors" are paid to do.

Perhaps it's time they did actually RTFA, and verify the summary was accurate, or "edit" them to be accurate.

IIRC, in the old days of Slashdot, Summaries were more accurate, and stories were not chosen based on how many page hits they might generate.

Re:I was going to post... (1)

rasherbuyer (225625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947985)

Hmm... I see you're trying to play this down.

What the police were basically saying was -
Install CCTV and give us unlimited access to it or we'll prevent you from doing business by refusing you a licence to sell alcohol.

To quote TFA:
A spokeswoman for the Met said: "To this end, Islington police recommend all premises are required to install CCTV and make those images available to police upon request before a licence is granted."

Pubs can't function as pubs without a licence. The question is, how many pubs succumbed to this illegal intimidation from the police before this guy spoke out?

compare (0, Flamebait)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947697)

We are under constant surveillance in our Masaajid (Mosques), so I guess it's now your turn. They want to watch us praying and talking Jihaad, now they want to watch you drinking and talking Friday Night game.

Re:compare (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947803)

We are under constant surveillance in our Masaajid (Mosques)

Whose fault is that exactly? What are you specifically doing to curb extremism in your religion?

How do you expect people to act when people of your religion treat women like shit?

Any pub in central London... (0)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947765)

... that doesn't already have CCTV is asking for trouble.

Well-behaved people have nothing to fear from being seen sitting and drinking.

Re:Any pub in central London... (3, Funny)

JudgeSlash (823985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947817)

Well-behaved people have nothing to fear from being seen sitting and drinking.

You've obviously never had a Vindaloo and warm English beer...

Re:Any pub in central London... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26947963)

Bullshit. CCTV and/or bouncers mean the pub is full of cunts. If you want a pub where people are well-behaved find one with no security.

You see those islands over there? (2, Insightful)

bryanp (160522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26947845)

Yeah, those islands. That's where Great Britain used to be. A shame, really.

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