The all-seeing eye now talks

The Daily Mail reports in an article today (Big Brother is shouting at you) that Middlesbrough has fitted loudspeakers on seven of its 158 CCTV cameras so that control room operators can now give out verbal warnings.

“This isn’t about keeping tabs on people, it’s about making the streets safer for the law-abiding majority and helping to change the attitudes of those who cause trouble. It challenges unacceptable behaviour and makes people think twice,” said Jack Bonner, who manages the system.

This is rubbish, of course. If universal surveillance was so effective then why is it that Britain – a country with more surveillance than any other – is so plagued with yobs and thugs?

Surveillance has actually made us less safe. Instead of police interacting with the public and taking a firm stand against yobs, officers have retreated to their cars and control rooms to spy on everyone. Better to target those people who break the law and deal with them firmly rather than waste time and money spying on every single person.

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