This week the Guardian published a response to Bruce Schneier's criticism of CCTV cameras. The response claims that CCTV "has a vital role in the fight against crime". And who is it putting forward this view? None other than the managing director of Atec Security - suppliers of ... yes you guessed it, CCTV technology!
On their website Atec acknowledges the growing sceptisim about the effectiveness of CCTV in the UK, including the recent statistic of only three per cent of London's street robberies being solved using CCTV images - but their solution like everyone else in the surveillance game is more technology and more oppressive cameras. The police and CCTV industry have been admitting the ineffectiveness of CCTV since the release of the National CCTV Strategy last October - but the reason they have done this is to call for the expansion and upgrading of surveillance cameras in the UK, to a level that is no longer adequately described by the phrase "closed-circuit television cameras". Cameras do not do what they have been telling us they do for the last decade - they do NOT reduce crime. Despite this, the solution put forward by the state and the CCTV industry is not to scale back the cameras and save public money.
In the Guardian Atec says:
"If standards are better regulated and combined with the rapidly accelerating development of CCTV technology - such as advanced facial recognition and analytics - CCTV will become more widely acknowledged as a vital part of the criminal justice system".
A surveillance "arms race" is set to break out in the UK and companies like Atec stand to make a lot of money, whilst the citizens of the UK will simply continue to loose yet more freedoms to the ever growing surveillance state.