The level of surveillance in the UK is out of control – I was at the railway station in Arnside when I was over for my mother’s party and we counted at least 8 CCTV cameras on the platform. This is for a place that probably gets 4-6 trains a day and I’d be surprised if more than 100-200 people a day use it.
I really don’t know what led to this craziness but it bothers me and I see the CCTV culture coming over to the US too. Let’s be clear – with very few exceptions, this does not stop or prevenet crime, it may allow for the identification of the culprits after the fact.
I’d far rather live in a place where time and energy was put into stopping crime, rather than just recording it as it happens. New York City, surprisingly, is an object lesson of how to do that and it’s mostly about getting more police on the streets at any one time. I feel safer in Manhattan at 2am than I do in many English towns and cities, and that’s a terrible shame.
Remember that the people who tell you “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about” are the same people who stop you taking pictures of police, or who want to hide their own activities.