Spy Cameras Watch Spy Cameras In UK

The secret camera business is booming in the UK, home to the most despised traffic speed cameras on Earth and to George Orwell, author of 1984.

For years, British police have been using roadside cameras with speed guns and very quick shutter speeds to catch speeding motorists in the act. By the end of this year, ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras will be be in place to create a 24x7 national vehicle movement database to log the whereabouts of every vehicle in the country (see ANPR Cams - Britain's Roadside Big Brother).


(ANPR mobile unit)

Frankly, people are mad as hell, and don't want to take it anymore. Passing motorists have been vandalizing the speed cameras, usually from their blind side. So, police are fighting back.

According to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, police are installing secret spy cameras - to watch the speed cameras. The new cams are placed on street lamps, road signs and telephone poles hundreds of meters from the speed cameras that are under surveillance.

George Orwell would not have been surprised at the desire of police to watch the watchers and surveil the surveillance cameras. In 1984, the telescreen was used to monitor human activity from a distance:

How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live -- did live, from habit that became instinct -- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.
(Read more about the telescreen)

Found this one here; don't forget that sf writer Robert Heinlein thought about traffic control cameras in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/21/2006)

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