There will always be an England, just better observed.

Really, we’re not as efficient a police state as we’d like to be

Describing such cameras as “an indispensable investigative tool”, he told the Home Affairs Select Committee last week: “Any perception on the part of the public that there is some kind of Orwellian infrastructure sitting behind society where these cameras are terribly well integrated and joined up as part of the surveillance state is entirely wrong.”

Garvan said the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is asking for improved, ideally electronic, transfers of data from cameras: “We should be able to make use of overt, local authority CCTV with the minimum of bureaucracy, because everybody knows it is there and we shouldn’t be hampered in our use of it.” He added that such transfers would have to ensure the material met evidential standards for use in court.

I like this notion that the police should be able to comb through all the cameras in the country (well, not my country anyway) at will, because everybody already thinks they’re being watched 24/7. Oh, and all of these video streams should be somehow unbreakably secured at somebody else’s expense, just in case they might turn up something useful.

The thing is, cameras are an invaluable investigative tool. For some things that you do want thoroughly investigate, and for other things that you don’t.


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