Google your CCTV.

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bobbysands.jpgIt strikes me as odd that the Middle Englander type opposed to Google's Street View are often the same people yammering for more CCTV in their areas. To give one tangential illustration, for the Mail, Street View is a 'burglar's charter', yet the paper objects to the removal of CCTV from 'crime-ridden areas' on some supposedly spurious human rights grounds.

Surely it's less oppressive if you know what's there and you can complain if you've been spotted coming out of a sex shop, as with Street View? And at least Google doesn't lecture you if you're spotted drunk

Anyway, as the Home Office has admitted, CCTV doesn't work:

"Assessed on the evidence presented in this report, CCTV cannot be deemed a success. It has cost a lot of money and it has not produced the anticipated benefits." (p.120, this pdf)

Google Street View, on the other hand, does work. It's free, and it allows you to see what your mates' new houses look like, take a virtual walk through places you used to live, or any other sort of sight-seeing.

They'll also blur your face out, even if you died on hunger strike many years ago (above). Come to think of it, perhaps we should consider letting Google do our CCTV. It'd be free too, presumably, and open to all of us, but they'd better not give us any hot air about not filming coppers. In fact, they could probably provide helpful contextual adverts as hover-overs: "Being beaten up on a protest? Click here for a good lawyer."

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This page was published on April 24, 2009 12:26 PM.

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