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Posted on Freedom Advocates on August 6th 2007
City councils across Great Britain use cameras to spy on their citizens in hopes of catching violators of environmental laws or those engaged in ‘antisocial’ behavior.
England is well known for its wide spread, Orwellian use of cameras as Big Brother is watching everything. London has approximately one camera for every four people and the average person is estimated to be photographed seventeen times per day on average. They were supposed to be used to reduce crime, something that they have failed abysmally at. The use of these ever growing number of cameras is expanding to much more draconian measures as they are increasingly being used more and more to spy on citizens – in addition to their use as a revenue enhancement as speed and red-light cameras.
As reported in the Sunday Times  , the most recent proposal being developed with the help of Southend Essex resident Trevor Bell, 62, is to catch “rubbish violators’, those who would dare to put their trash out on a non-collection day. The Essex City Council is pioneering the project termed “Rubbish Watch”, which is reflecting the growing tendency of city councils across Great Britain to use cameras to spy on their citizens in hopes of catching violators of environmental laws or those engaged in ‘antisocial’ behavior. Surveillance operations have increased from 6,924 to 12,494, over the last year. Some city councils have even made requests for tracking devices. These operations consist of cameras often mounted on light poles that can move street to street. Essex has made use of three “Dome Hawk” cameras with a range of over half a mile.
The project is said to encourage “more responsible behavior” as residence believe someone may be watching them. According to Bell, people “can’t get away with just dumping their rubbish whenever they feel like it.” Garbage left on the street is said to be an eyesore and attract pests.
Some residents do see it as an unnecessary invasion into their lives as well as a waste of money. Secondary teacher Kimberly Adams said, “There are a lot of rights infringed on in this country, but this is a step too far.” However, the council doesn’t even consider it covert. According to them, the residents have been warned they may be filmed. Though, Ms. Adams didn’t even know that the cameras were there.
Civil Libertarian groups are raising concerns over the obvious intrusion or draconian measures being taken by city councils across the country. One example of such was revealed only last week that police may gain the power to take DNA samples from all suspects including those committing minor infractions, such as littering or “wrong day” rubbish disposal.
One should also realize that what happens in Britain will eventually make its way to the United States. Measures such as spying with cameras are continually being called for by officials within the US. We need to fight these Orwellian, Big Brother type invasions into our privacy before they leave Eurasia bound for the States. Ungoed-Thomas, Jon and Waite, Roger. Cameras Spy on ‘Wrong Day’ Bins. The Sunday Times. August 5, 2007. UK.
Wrong Day Rubbish Disposers by Nelson LaPlante
Nelson LaPlante has been conducting research and writing for Freedom Advocates in an internship position and we thank him for his valuable contributions. Nelson has finished his Masters work in Economics at San Diego State University. He has also been temporarily living and working in Great Britain.
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