CCTV: Where would the axe fall?

FOLLOWING the hoo-ha provoked by my earlier post on the threat – or lack of it – posed by CCTV cameras to our civil liberties, I’ve had an idea. Those cyber-Tories who are convinced that a future Tory government will herald a CCTV-less age now have the chance to prove it by asking their own Tory candidate or MP which CCTV scheme in his or her constituency will be axed after ‘Dave’ becomes prime minister. Post the information on this site – preferably with a supporting quote from the relevant MP or candidate.

I look forward to publishing the full list well in advance of polling day.

UPDATE at 11.15 pm: Still haven’t received offers of CCTV schemes that might be dismantled should a Tory government be inflicted upon us. Strange, that. Are we sure the Tories are opposed to CCTV?



Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron

19 responses to “CCTV: Where would the axe fall?

  1. Robert

    I’ve gone from having no insurance to having insurance because of CCTV, I had so much damage done to our car home and property that the council put up a single CCTV camera and it’s all gone away.

    Yes it has annoyed the parents of the kids who caused the problems they cannot piss up against the Walls now on the way home from the pubs, or crap in peoples gardens or puke on the roads or kick a car just because it’s a car, the kids have had ASBO’s and two have had jail terms, but you know something thank god I can live in peace just because of a CCTV camera

  2. Jeremy Poynton

    Pathetic. Schoolboy argument. You know that this is not about CCTV alone, rather your government’s desire to remove the last vestiges of privacy we have in the name of “security”.

    Be a woman for a day, Tom. And wonder who is perving on you via CCTV.

  3. Jeremy – I’m generally against “perving”, as you so poetically put it, and if you’re aware of anyone – male or female – being “perved”, then I trust you’ll report it to the police. However, I’m guessing from your comments that you don’t actually expect the Tories to remove any CCTV cameras?

  4. Richard

    I think most Conservatives would rather take the money spent on useless CCTV cameras and plastic policemen and put it towards extra police on the streets.

    60 cameras @ £500 = 1 policeman.

  5. John

    Why do you automatically label us Tory just because we may not agree with you.
    I have NEVER voted tory in my life but that does not mean I necessarily disagree with every idea they have and neither does it mean I have to agree with everything you say.

  6. John

    I have just read online that a Labour MP has died . All the newspaper is interested in is the problems this may cause Brown and your party.
    There seems to be no respect or dignity shown for this man’s family.

  7. Johnny Norfolk

    CCTV is just the tip of the iceberg its all the snooping into our private affairs in the name of security. DNA left on the register even if you have done nothing. It is big brother government that we object to, so dont just keep harping on about CCTV.

    Go and speak to David Davies he will explain it to you.

  8. Johnny Norfolk

    Further to Johns comment on the Labour MP that has died.

    Do you refer to the lack of dignity that was shown by Labour when they announced the election of Mrs Dunwoodys seat before her funeral had taken place, as they hoped for a quick win. The Labour government sets a standard that the papers follow.

  9. Madasafish

    The whole issue about CCTV is a much wider one.
    Do we trust our Government – if it has personal information belonging to us – to keep it safe, not to let it out to third parties and not to use it politically?

    Well all I can say is that recent history says we CANNOT trust them to keep anything personal . Nothing.

    And the reasons are so obvious: data is just left lying around. After all it’s only this year the MOD started encrypting their persoanl compters.

    So in answer to your questions: I trust no-one in Government – local or national – with any more information than they have now.

    And until people in power lose their jobs when they lose data and are prosecuted under the Data Protection Act – and get no payoffs.. I’ll believe no protestations, promises or other declarations.

    Words are cheap: actions say it all.
    Actions say we cannot trust any Government (Labour, Conservative or other) to keep our data safe. Until Government show they are worthy of that trust…. but that is a rather poor joke.

    When politicians say one thing and do something else not once, but frequently, anyone who trusts them needs help.

    As a breed politicians have forfeited any respect and trust.

  10. Oh Tom, you are using straw man arguments here.

    a) The Labour/Tory thing and

    b) CCTV cameras (there is good and bad in them, depending how they are used).

    Let’s concentrate on what is actually happening to real people in Britain today.

    The fact that, as I commented on your earlier post on the subject, people are getting into trouble with the “authorities” for the most innocuous misdemeanours or totally made-up “crimes” just to get them into the system – made afraid, handcuffed, robbed of DNA, fingerprinted, deprived of freedom for hours – and released back into society, angry, confused and more likely not to step out of line again (not that they really did in the first place).

    Just about everything has been made a crime to catch law-abiding citizens out. Just a few examples:

    Smoking a cigarette in YOUR OWN van

    Photographing a shopping centre

    Wearing an anti-Blair T-shirt near the Labour Party Conference

    Leaving your bin out in the wrong place/wrong day/with the lid ajar

    Children chalking hopscotch on the pavement (training them early to accept tyranny)

    Distributing gospel tracts in certain places

    Name-calling in the playground

    And so much more.

    And there are literally thousands of cases where people have intervened to STOP crime but are themselves punished as criminals and the real baddies walk free….even taking photos of young vandals has been deemed an infringement of their “human rights!”

    Senior police forensics expert, Gary Pugh, even suggests putting primary school children on the DNA database if they exhibit certain behaviour that might suggest they could become criminals when they are older.

    Please forget about what the Tories might or might do – are things a tad unfair or not as they stand right now?

  11. Jeremy Poynton

    Tom Harris
    August 13, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Jeremy – I’m generally against “perving”, as you so poetically put it, and if you’re aware of anyone – male or female – being “perved”, then I trust you’ll report it to the police. However, I’m guessing from your comments that you don’t actually expect the Tories to remove any CCTV cameras?

    Somewhat difficult to detect someone perving, don’t you think, unless you are right beside them?

    Odd how you – in classic Gordon Brown at PMQs – refuse to answer the questions put to you, and turn them around.

    At least you don’t vomit statistics all over us, unlike your pathetic, useless leader.

    My hope is that the next government, of whichever hue (almost certainly blue), will roll back the state to an acceptable size, and will roll back this gross monitoring of the people who pay your wages. Not that you seem the sightest bit grateful to us.

  12. Jeremy Poynton


    A response to Stewart’s comment would be good. Silence would suggest you support the criminalisation of people (citizens, as I gather we must now be called in the Brave New Stasi World) for leaving their bins open?

  13. Auntie Flo'

    I would like the Conservatives to remove every single one of the CCTV cameras in my town which are illegal. That’s about 90% of them according to your government’s Information Commissioner.

    I would like all CCTV cameras to meet ICO guidelines and their location to be justified on grounds of absolute necessity for law and order.

    I would like all local authoruity CCTV monitors which are money making scams to be removed.

    I would like CCTV removed from supermarkets and for sup’s to start employing staff again, as they once did.

  14. Auntie Flo'

    Thought this might interest you, just posted to Iain Dale.

    1913: LIB surreptious film of imprisoned suffragettes

    1949: LAB Orwell’s 1984, which is set in London.

    1960: CONS Met Guy Fawkes 2 cameras Trafalgar Square

    1961: CONS video surveillance system London train station.

    1964: LAB Liverpool police 4 covert CCTV cameras.

    1965: LAB Railway cameras near Dagenham – vandalism

    1967: LAB Photoscan markets video surveillance systems to shops

    1968: LAB Met use to monitor anto-Vietnam War demonstrators.

    1969: LAB Met permanent cameras in Grosvenor Square, Whitehall and Parliament Square.

    1969: LAB Total number of cameras nationally: 67.

    1974: LAB video surveillance of major arterial roads in and through London.

    1975: LAB video surveillance system in four London Underground

    1975: LAB use of video surveillance systems at soccer matches begins.

    1984: CONS surveillance cameras at major protest rallying points London. .

    1985: CONS street-based video surveillance system in Bournemouth

    1987: CONS video surveillance at LA parking garages

    1988: CONS LA video surveillance of “council estates”

    1989: CONS Liberty publishes Who’s watching you?

    1992: CONS street-based video surveillance in Newcastle (

    1992: CONS speed cameras and red-light enforcement cameras.

    1993: CONS Bishopsgate bombs “Ring of Steel” Ldn incs cameras.

    1994: CONS CCTV: Looking Out for You. Prime Minister John Major
    1994 and 1997the Home Office spends a total of 38 million pounds on CCTV schemes.

    1994: CONS covert video surveillance systems at ATMs

    1996: CONS all England’s major citt centres except Leeds video surveillance

    1997: LAB public demonstration against surveillance cameras in Brighton

    1997: LAB London police surveillance camera system tracks license plates.

    1998 on: LAB use of face recognition software in the London Borough of Newham begins.

    LAB Children finger printed

    LAB National DNA database

    LAB Spy in the sky camera drones

    LAB Information Commisioner
    warns of surveillance state

    2000: LAB UK CCTV cameras total 1 million

    2007: LAB UK CCTV cameras total 4.2 million – 90% are illegal (Inf Comissioner)

  15. Auntie Flo'

    I would also like the Conservatives to address the issue of CCTV cameras/CCTV signs placed at the point of unrealistic speed limits or speed limit changes, to wrong foot motorists.

    I’m talking about rounding a bend well inside a 60 mph speed limit to be confronted with a hidden 30 mph limit sign and camera/camera sign half way round, causing you to brake dangerously or break the speed limit.

    Also unecessary speed limit restrictions of 30 mph on hills – outside of residential areas – so that you have to continually brake to avoid drifting over the limit.

  16. There’s nowt that can be done about the ones that are already up. That’s a fact, and the Tories know it. Further, in many places, normally council estates, people want more of them, and rightly so. Most of our CCTV cameras sit, unmonitored, in town centres.

    I think there is a case against aggressively expanding them to sound tough though, as I said on the previous post about this.

  17. Auntie Flo'

    Ministers have been accused of building a national DNA database “by stealth” by retaining profiles of nearly 40,000 children never convicted of a crime.

    The government says there are 39,095 DNA profiles of 10-18 year olds from England and Wales who were arrested but never cautioned or charged.

    The Home Office said retaining DNA was a “key intelligence tool” for police fighting serious and violent crime.

    Last month, a government-funded inquiry recommended that DNA profiles of people who had never been convicted of a crime should be removed from the database, which it said should be controlled by an independent body.

    But currently samples from anyone arrested for a recordable offence and detained at a police station in England and Wales – innocent or guilty – can be kept on file indefinitely. Innocent people who volunteer to give a DNA sample during a police inquiry also have their details kept on record.

    In Scotland, DNA samples taken when people are arrested must be destroyed if the individual is not charged or convicted unless they are accused of a violent or sexual crime. (BBC current online news)

    That says it all really.

  18. Jamie

    I hate CCTV.

    I hate their starting premise of mistrust.

    We are sleepwalking to a world where they are networked and automated.

  19. Robert

    Well if it keeps me and my family safe stops louts hanging around town and gives people a safe feeling carry on.

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