No CCTV - campaigning against camera surveillance in the uk and beyond
no cctv

Site Search:

Privacy Protected search  

Latest Reports

 
Latest Articles/News

New mass surveillance database and 1984 action day - It's time to start speaking out against this covert and insidious destruction of our basic inalienable right to be let alone... more...

The silent increase in London's mass surveillance network, one year on... - At the time no-one seems to have noticed. One year on the sound of silence is still deafening.... more...

Magna Carta - our ancestors never imagined we would stop short - It was only to exhibit to their children the means that made them free, that they left this memorial to after ages... more...

When The Language Of Freedom dies, Freedom Dies With It - It is through language that we communicate and understand concepts such as freedom... more...

Orwell's warnings as relevant as ever - It is only through our own actions that we can effect a change to thinking in our societies... more...

CCTV Looking Out For Them Not You - the Home Office told local authorities to talk up any apparent successes of CCTV... more...

8th June 2014 - Time For Big Brother to Retire - We are living in the dystopian world of '1984' now. But we can change it.... more...

Body cameras - The 5 Laws of FFUCams - it might be true that the camera never lies, but who operates the camera?... more...

The Manufacture of ''Surveillance by Consent'' part 2 - what happens when the whole state and its every function become one massive security service... more...

International Group condemns Facewatch - ''Facewatch forms part of a ubiquitous surveillance culture that spreads fear and distrust''... more...

Landmark CCTV case in Australia - Mr Bonner's tribunal victory is a timely reminder that a meaningful debate is long over due... more...

The Manufacture of ''Surveillance by Consent'' - a trojan horse has been snuck into every public space in England and Wales... more...

New CCTV Code Consultation - proposed code creates a truly Orwellian definition of 'surveillance by consent'... more...

Canadian Privacy Commissioner Hits Out At ANPR - Should not be used to track the movements of law abiding motorists... more...

Government appoints CCTV yes man ... again - No CCTV warned in 2009 that more regulation is not the answer and we issue that same warning again today... more...

Open letter to UK Surveillance Regulators - A healthy society depends on the law-abiding majority being respected and trusted as they go about their daily lives... more...

Where to mate? 1984 please - Taxi cameras are part of a growing ''just in case'' mentality that treats everyone as suspects... more...

Britain under attack from 'talking' CCTV cameras - which stifle the very civic spirit they ''seek'' to create... more...

Internet Eyes and media politics - ''Let's bury our bad news on a busy news day'' says ICO... more...

Back to the Future - UK CCTV debate stuck in time loop - Imagine if you had a time machine could travel back to the 1990s... more...

NO CCTV - Surveillance Watchers and operator biases

Proponents of CCTV will often say that surveillance camera operators are not interested or do not have time to watch law abiding citizens as they go about their daily business. Research tends to suggest this is not always true.

Good street lighting reduces cctv by 20%
Image by Dana Mendonca

In their book 'The Maximum Surveillance Society: The Rise of CCTV' Clive Norris and Gary Armstrong found evidence of CCTV operator biases. These findings have been published in a 'Open-Street CCTV in Australia: A comparative study of establishment and operation A report to the Criminology Research Council', Department of Criminology, University of Melbourne, April 2003.

Norris and Armstrong's (1999) detailed ethnographic study of control room operators raised some issues of concern. Part of their larger project involved a detailed study of the 'social construction of suspicion' by camera operators - what they term the 'working rules' used by camera operators to sort through the myriad of images transmitted and to select targets for surveillance. They noted that women accounted for only 7% of those placed under surveillance, and suggest this may reinforce the argument of Brown (1998) that CCTV may undermine the security of women in public areas by providing the rhetoric of public safety without the reality. Moreover they noted that 15% of operator initiated surveillance on women was for voyeuristic reasons: a finding that would seem to support the argument of those who object to CCTV as 'a honey pot for perverts' (Davies 1998: 248).
Norris and Armstrong also revealed surveillance was disproportionately targeted towards black and working-class youth. They argue that rather than making public spaces free from the risk of criminal victimisation, CCTV can act to amplify unjust and discriminatory policing. Additionally they noted that guarantees that individuals would not be monitored without reason were mostly hollow rhetoric (1999: 151). Detailed observation study in control rooms was beyond the scope of the present study, although the concern that similar monitoring practices are conducted in Australia has already been raised (Crane & Dee 2001).

Download the University of Melbourne report.

Better community reduces crime, technology does not