George Orwell Plaza, covered by cameras

Evening News 24

Talking CCTV cameras have been installed at two Norwich parks with the aim of slashing anti-social behaviour. Eight cameras at Waterloo Park and one at Eaton Park have been connected to their own loudspeaker system and, through Norwich City Council’s 33-screen, £500,000 CCTV control room, the voice of a camera operator will boom out across each park to tell off those causing a nuisance, committing low level crime and anti-social behaviour. Norwich City Councillor Bert Bremner, responsible for community safety and cohesion, said: “It is a really positive thing for the city. “These will be ways of embarrassing people and reminding them. Someone being told off for dropping litter will respond in a reasonable way, and I believe most people will say sorry and do something about it. There will be some that won’t and, if the matter is serious, the police will follow it up.” The council, which used a £35,000 grant to pay for the installation of the high-tech talking system, is one of 20 areas to receive funding for the project ran in partnership with the government’s Respect Unit. Six full-time operators man the cameras 24 hours a day and there is a direct communication link between the police and the CCTV control room.

I consider being watched by cameras in public anti-social behavior. This has become so commonplace, it seems pointless to even post it. I suspect that’s the plan and it could be working. I’m not familiar with the size of this park or the scope of the problem, but with the cost of the system and 6 full time “operators”, why cant they just hire POLICE to patrol the parks?




  1. Les says:

    “Smile You’re on Candid Camera!” That might get a rise out of somebody.

  2. This is a great example of the slippery slope created by giving the govt. any social engineering powers. USA is now on the entrance ramp to it: food bans, anti-gun lobby and even the anti-smoking (no matter how much I benefit from the latter) … with the big govt. candidates drooling to sell more of it to us as a “change”… By the way, if taxes are low govt. wouldn’t have money for such extravaganza.

  3. Esteban says:

    Why do these CCTV stories always seem to come out of the UK? Don’t get me wrong, the American government is making up for lost time when it comes to Big Brother behavior, but the Brits are already halfway to Oceania. I have to wonder, do British politicians read Nineteen Eighty-Four and think it’s a good idea?

  4. zybch says:

    If you treat people like criminals (by sticking a CCTV camera on every corner) then people WILL act like criminals!

    These bastards must seriously think that the book ‘1984’ is an instruction manual!

  5. Ben says:

    I can’t wait for the channel on YouTube.

  6. ghm101 says:

    A lot of the pressure for these CCTV camera to be installed comes from the people who have homes, businesses and live near the bus stop that gets continually vandalized by the yobs in question.

    These speaking cameras have actually proved themselves to be more effective at stopping antisocial behavior than passive cameras that are much less of a deterrent.

    I appreciate and worry about the privacy issues surrounding the spread of these cameras but for many people they do increase the quality of their lives by curtailing the hoodies’ bus stop smashing vandalism.

  7. Norman Speight says:

    Why not buy more police instead?
    I’ll tell you why JCD.
    In the UK police only spend 18% of their time on patrol. That was a survey last year. Also. If you as as close to reports in the press as I am you know that police in the UK are more frequently accused quite rightly of either failing to turn up to offences telephoned in, or, not turning up at all (with much documented evidence). We actually have a widely reported incidence of actual murders in the London area by yobs, who despite MANY reports were never confronted by police. Our police are now firmly bureaucratized. They are only interested in paperwork – and – this paperwork is so grossly manipulated to agree with politicised claims of ‘crime reduction’ that no-one in the UK believes the figures any more. We have more police – yes. More than ever. We also have more gun crime than in New York or, Chicago in the Capone era. We also have the biggest rise in bogus official figures since – well – ever! Our politicians at both local and national level are THE most qualified figure fakers in history mate, and, believe it or not, I actually support a good policing environment ‘cos, if you haven’t got the police, then you haven’t got anything, they are the last line of public defence.
    Don’t believe or accept what I’ve said?
    Just read up on our gun crime, the last year will do. Of course I haven’t mentioned our home-grown terrorist lot, that will do for another time.
    So. That’s why John. We cook the books in a way that the Enron boys would envy.

  8. TheGlobalWarmingNemesis says:

    No one who lives in a city should expect any privacy outside their home. Anything that captures scrote bags in action is a good thing.

    There was an old Larry Niven story where everyone wore a live cameras while out in public. Anything happened, everyone in the vicinity recorded it. Interesting idea. We’re getting close with cell-phone cameras. Just need them to upload to a remote site automatically.

  9. agile says:

    looks like “placa” not “plaza”

    placa is a commemorative plate

  10. Cinaedh says:

    “…why cant they just hire POLICE to patrol the parks?”

    Obviously, humans can’t record and later identify every single person present at a particular location at any given time.

    The cameras aren’t really designed to prevent anything.

    I mean, they’re cameras, not cops. How can a camera stop you being robbed or even murdered? These cameras are going to do… what? Yell at the thief or murderer?

    It’s obvious they’re designed to record things for posterity, to track everything that moves, record it, save it forever and to make eventual arrest and prosecution easier.

    As a bonus, they allow the government to track everyone everywhere and to keep a record forever, just in case…

  11. JimD says:

    “the cost of the system and 6 full time “operators”, why cant they just hire POLICE to patrol the parks?”

    Even the Police don’t want to go into some areas !!!

  12. ethanol says:

    Can’t they off-shore the monitoring of the cameras to India or Pakistan where they speak British English anyway? That will save some of the money people are worried about…

    I say this since every job here in the US is being off-shored to Asia, except the darn CEO and CFO positions.

  13. the answer says:

    I want to see the first people to deface the cameras to make it look like a clown or a nanny. “Don’t do that. What are you a crazy person?”

  14. Andy says:

    Not new, just new to Norwitch

    Seen in London…
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/03/camera_shout_pole/

    And Middlesborough – where the plan was to chide people using recordings of children. Yuck.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/04/childrens_cctv/

    As usual, when first proposed people are concerned or even outraged. But after enough repetition, it is accepted as the norm.


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