The people of the United Kingdom are possibly the most group of people in the history of the world under surveillance. Forget the NSA’s ever-expanding reach over every form of communication imaginable. We’re talking cameras… everywhere. The City of London is equipped with thousands of them, so is Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and, well, like I said before, pretty much everywhere. In a nation of 64 million residents, there is one CCTV camera for every 11 people in the UK.
The British Security Industry Authority (BSIA) estimates there are up to 5.9 million closed-circuit television cameras scattered throughout the UK, including 750,000 in “sensitive locations” such as schools, hospitals and care homes. This statistic was released in 2013 as well. Do you think they decided to halt the expansion of their Orwellian state at any point over the past two years? The safe bet is that these numbers have grown exponentially.
The truly remarkable and almost unfathomable piece of information regarding CCTV cameras in the United Kingdom is that no one really knows how many there are.
Simon Adcock, of the BSIA, said in 2013, “Because there is no single reliable source of data, no number can ever be held as truly accurate.” So basically what Simon is saying is that there are so many of these damn things, we lost count a long time ago. It appears the BSIA has guesstimated a number for the purpose of appeasing the general population.
And now for the kicker… There are apparently not enough surveillance cameras to spy on the innocent citizens of the United Kingdom, according to Scotland Yard.
Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, the head of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, is now urging residents to put CCTV cameras in their homes and businesses. Because safety. It gets better though…
Sir Bernard is encouraging inhabitants to install cameras at eye level, because according to the Scotland Yard chief,
Facial recognition software has got better, and we can now apply it to images of burglaries, and then compare them with images we take when we arrest people.
What we need to be able to do is to be able to compare that photograph with the images we have of people committing a crime.
Taking the tops of their heads is not that helpful for facial recognition which relies on the eyes and the configuration of the area around the nose and the mouth. So we’re trying to get people to, ideally, add a camera at face level.
If anyone listening has a business, think about installing a new one – they’re relatively cheap. If you can’t buy one, could you think about moving it?
Sir Bernard wants to encroach on the privacy of the good people of the United Kingdom to such a prodigious level, that he is encouraging them to install video cameras with facial recognition capabilities inside of their most personal of spaces? Wow.
Does the government really need to peer in on our most intimate moments of isolation to keep us secure?
Have we really come to a point in our civilization, in a supposed ‘free society’ mind you, where we put facial recognition equipped cameras in our homes?