Both the BBC and the Daily Telegraph are today running the story that a team from Queen’s University Belfast are developing a new generation of ISIS (Integrated Sensor Information System) CCTV cameras which could effectively predict criminals by mapping out suspicious behaviour and alerting authorities when passengers conform to their predetermined movements – not dissimilar to the 'pre-crime' units of Minority Report.
The team are right to admit that “there are millions of CCTV cameras in the UK doing very little to fight crime.” But the answer isn’t more CCTV – it’s proper policing.
Innocent people really have to ask whether they want themselves permanently “profiled” every time they step onto public transport? The Metropolitan Police have admitted that very few crimes are solved by CCTV. Money like this would be better off spent putting more bobbies on the beat, rather than increasing the reach of the big brother state.
By Alex Deane