If You’re Camera Shy

Don’t go to England! They have cameras all over the place. All in the name of safety, mind you. Ignore the fact that the cameras don’t actually stop any crimes from happening, and don’t really aid in arresting the culprits they do catch on cameras. But hey! At least you think your safe!

Well England is taking it to the next level. Why? Well apparently they are as incapable of enforcing certain laws as we are here in the States, so their answer, in this really trying economy with everyone including governments being flat out broke, is to spend MORE taxpayer money to install MORE cameras inside stores that sell alcohol. They want to cut down on the number of minors who buy alcohol.

Buying some wine? Spy cameras will be watching

By James Slack
Last updated at 1:43 AM on 21st February 2009

© 2009 Associated Newspapers Ltd

Big Brother CCTV cameras are to be fitted inside shops and supermarkets on the orders of the state to keep track on anybody buying alcohol.

A law is being quietly pushed through Parliament giving councils the power to order licensed premises to fit the surveillance cameras. Pubs will also be covered.

The footage of people innocently buying a bottle of wine in a shop or a pint of beer in a bar must be stored for at least 60 days, and be handed over to the police on demand.

CCTV camera

Anyone buying alcohol – in pubs, shops and supermarkets – will be monitored by CCTV cameras

Critics say it will mean that citizens will now be tracked everywhere they go. The UK already has more than four million closed-circuit TV cameras covering the streets – the largest number in the world.

Cars are also automatically monitored using cameras that check registration plates. Now shops and pubs will also be covered.

The measures form part of the Policing and Crime Bill, but have not been highlighted by Ministers.

Under a code of conduct, which will be enforced by the Bill, any business that intends to sell alcohol will have to agree to install the cameras.

Phil Booth, of the NO2ID privacy campaign, said: ‘We are already a country with more CCTV cameras than anywhere else in the civilised world, but this law is systemising the surveillance of a nation. People will be treated like suspects wherever they go.’

James Brokenshire, a Tory home affairs spokesman, said: ‘The risk is that these provisions could be used as a way to impose blanket CCTV requirements where they just aren’t necessary. This mustn’t be another way of extending the surveillance society by the back door.’

Earlier this week, the Mail revealed how police were warning pubs they would not support their licensing applications unless they agreed to train the intrusive cameras on their customers.

The first blanket policy has been introduced in the London borough of Islington, where all applicants wanting a licence to sell alcohol are being told they must fit CCTV.

Other forces are adopting similar tactics. But the planned new law goes much further, as it will allow councils – which ultimately hand out all licences – to insist on the CCTV cameras.

Ministers have also been restricting the public’s right to ‘watch the watchers’.

Earlier this week, a law came into force which carries a maximum ten-year jail term for anybody taking a picture of a police officer if it is ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, who is piloting the CCTV measure through the Commons, recently admitted that he couldn’t remember the last time he was in a pub.

Mark Hastings, spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘It’s an extraordinary admission from someone who is proposing measures that, on the Government’s own admission, will cost the pub sector hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

‘It shows how disconnected he is from the realities of what it’s like trying to stay in business in the current environment.’

What really caught my attention in this article though was at the end. I’ve bolded it here:

The Home Office said the clause in the Bill was intended to allow police and councils to target premises where problems were occurring, such as underage sales.

It was not meant to penalise businesses that act responsibly. It will be up to councils to decide which premises must have cameras, and they will be trained on the areas where alcohol is sold.

Excuse me, BUT if you know what premises were selling to underage people, why not just shut them down or pull their liquor license? WHY does everyone always have to be inconvenienced or punished or watched just because they can’t or won’t enforce existing laws? They do the same damned thing here too.

It is the word “was” that really caught my attention. Note they didn’t say “is intended” but “was intended”, which tells me they are just trying to soften the blow because they know that that local councils will push this more and more for even more reasons. In other words, the bill is NOT limited in scope but free to be expanded upon at will apprently.

Don’t think it won’t happen hear, remember earlier this month I posted about Madison, Wisconsin looking to put cameras outside of bars, supposedly to prevent fights and such.

Cameras prevent NOTHING.

Personally, I’m getting a little sick and tired of all this “for the children” crap. What is the problem with parents watching their own kids, and what’s wrong with law enforcement people actually enforcing the law as they are paid to do? Granted, teens are rebellious, and you know what? You really can’t stop them. IF they can’t get it one way, they’ll get it another. Our total failure of the “war on drugs” should be proof enough of that.

Here’s a wild idea – why not actually educate the kids to be smart and responsible? Why not actually teach them about making smart choices? And while we’re at it, why NOT insist that law enforcement actually enforce existing laws and strip liquor licenses from those establishments that you KNOW are selling to the underage? Is this really too hard to do?

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin

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~ by swfreedomlover on February 22, 2009.

2 Responses to “If You’re Camera Shy”

  1. I was reading your posts awhile back, but somehow got out of the habit of clicking your blog. But as I read through these entries I realize that your blog should be one of the first I read each day. Very interesting and entertaining!

    • Entertaining? I’m sure you mean that only in the best possible way……..LOL Glad you enjoy it. I’ve been super busy lately and lagging on my posting. I’ve had one sitting in draft that I’ve started and haven’t had chance to put together and finish! I’ll get it done this week for sure (*note to self – now your committed so “just do it”*).

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