In the spirit of research, I decided to see how many cameras and how many times I was filmed on a short few minute walk around my immediate neighbourhood.
First off, the local station. A small station with reasonable sized car park for commuters to 'park and ride' in a quiet suburb of a small town. How many cameras would you expect?
What a lovely welcome! Do you feel safer? Why the need for spikes?
On the walkway and the platform, more 'prettified' cameras. Remember this count doesn't include the two more cameras in the ticket office, just the ones encountered as you walk out in public areas.
You might think your car is safer parked in such a well watched place, but of an evening it was left up to me to tackle some teenagers running across vehicle rooves. They ran off when they saw me in the car, after an angrily executed tyre squealing J-turn and a short chase I caught them. The police were phoned but never turned up, not a peep out of any transport police that should have been dispatched by the camera operators. What was I meant to do? I had to let them go. This might lead you to believe that the cameras aren't being watched, but no. Park with one of your wheels on the white line and a voice booms out from the top of a mast that you are not complying with car park regulations!!!!!!
So, how many cameras to guard the ever so dangerous station....24!
The tally increases as I amble up the road. One camera filming the road outside offices. One filming you from the Chinese takeaway. 14 watch you as you pass the petrol station. There are pinhole cameras mounted in the pumps themselves now. 4 in the small public car park. 3 follow you as you walk by the library. 3 more point across the road at you from a small electronics manufacturer.
Homeward bound a police car passes, adding another 3 (1 forward facing, 1 to the rear and 1 automatic number plate recognition ).
The final total on my short walk?...Fifty three! This doesn't include any residential cameras or those keeping tabs on you in shops etc. This is not the middle of a city.
Do these cameras serve their purpose? I don't think so. Last week a neighbour was robbed, their car stolen, that car was then used in a break in of the pub across the road. The perpetrators were neither identified or apprehended. In April I had to chase thieves (posted as 'Men in black' gone bad...(April)), no images available on video. What's the point of these cameras? It is 1984, it's just running late....