Tag Archive | "litter"

Cameras to Cut Littering


Here we go again. Another use for CCTV cameras on Britain’s roads. This time, the idea is to catch the sort of people who throw litter from their car instead of finding a bin or taking it home. On the face of it, this is a good thing. Any right-thinking citizen, driving along our highways, will bemoan the rubbish fluttering gaily in our hedgerows, irresponsibly thrown out by cretins who couldn’t care less. It’s nasty and costs councils countrywide millions of pounds to clean it up. The Highways Agency says 700,000 bin bags full are thrown onto our roads annually.

Littering has always been an offence and rightly so. In London, a little noticed change in the law now allows all of the 33 councils in the Capital to prosecute car owners if junk is thrown from a car. The Local Government Association wants this rolled out nationwide. Councils monitoring the thousands of CCTV cameras will prosecute the owner of the car regardless of who the driver or passengers are. Makes you think twice about lending out your precious wheels. Previously, authorities had to prove who threw the litter. This is where the problem lies.

In a fair society you are innocent until proven guilty, which is as it should be. The worry is that this would be exploited by councils whose motivation is really the collection of fines. A parent who lends their car to their offspring will now be liable, despite being innocent. Similarly, in another change to the law, car owners will be liable for any parking tickets issued. Again, there is no onus on police or councils to prove who was responsible. Car owners are to be penalised for doing nothing wrong.

Drivers are already routinely spied upon by the use of automatic number plate recognition devices, countrywide. Essentially, details of the movement of your car is held on computer for two years, tracking your every move. It is estimated that there are 14.5 million, yes million, readings every day! Despite the authorities repeated statements to the effect that all this surveillance is for our own good and helps them to catch criminals and terrorists, it is interesting to note some stats.

The Metropolitan Police admit that fewer than one crime is solved by every 1000 CCTV units. Further, they confirm that it costs them £4 million every year just to watch TV. Critics reckon that this raises serious concerns about how these cameras are used to allegedly fight crime. For information – there are thought to be 4 million CCTV cameras in Britain. They are looking at you.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==