There are a huge amount of CCTV cameras on our streets. This means that, essentially, we are not to be trusted. However, there are two routes open to us.

Modern society seems to have gone down either one of the following two routes:

EITHER We opt for a totally free but totally surveyed society (the idea being that if we misuse our freedoms we will ALWAYS be caught). This would mean looser drugs, alchohol, firearms and freedom of speech controls (among others). The idea here is that people can do what they want as long as it is not against the law. Any infraction will be dealt with swiftly due to the total surveillance of our citizens. This is not entirely desirable. 

OR We sacrifice some freedoms in order to be free from surveillance. I, for one, do not know quite which freedoms will have to be ditched for this to take place – let us say for now that freedom of speech will have to be slightly curtailed; alchohol will be restricted to the few who can afford it and can party responsibly; drugs will be punishable by lengthy jail sentences if dealt; guns will be completely outlawed and any possible source of crime will be eradicated at source. E.g., if someone kills someone else with a drill, the drill is banned. This too, is not entirely desirable.

BUT Is it not possible to solve crimes by traditional means? Can we not try to solve some crimes using guile, cunning and general common sense? What we need is to (as this Coalition government wishes) give power and, more crucially, responsibility back to the people. Ditch CCTV for good. One cannot be filmed without one's consent for a televeision show for public money-making use; why, therefore, may one be filmed by one's local council for their own private viewing and money-making use? Hypocrisy is rife here. We have the chance to change this.

Why is this idea important?

Anyone who has walked down a perfectly normal street and wondered why a camera's lens follows you down the street will empathise with this. 'Innocent until proven guilty' was a HARD-WON civil liberty (Magna Carta) that must be restored, in the common good. Why be filmed if you've done NOTHING wrong?

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