Please see the update below – Camden Council have issued a statement:
Do you live in a restricted area? Probably not. Then again, that’s what we imagine residents of this Camden estate thought.
Big Smoke has exposed how Camden Council’s latest local authority to join the shouting camera craze, following in the footsteps of Shepway District Council. Its ‘shouting lamppost‘ uses the same technology as deployed by Camden. Triggered by motion sensors, the camera plays a recording warning you that you have entered a restricted area and that your photograph will be ‘processed’ if you do not leave immediately.
This equipment highlights the absurd enthusiasm for surveillance that is far too prevalent in some local authorities around the country. The idea that a Robocop recording will tackle antisocial behaviour and crime is as laughable as it is a total invasion of privacy.Who knew councils had the authority to take your photograph simply because you walked into a communal garden?
Proper regulation of how and when this kind of equipment is installed is badly needed, and it should simply not be used in residential areas. This kind of technology may be acceptable in a police state or a science fiction film, but it is absolutely not in modern Britain.
Camden Council have now issued a statement saying the voice recording was not meant to be active. We look forward to the devices being deactivated.
“All flash cameras have the capacity to deliver voice messages when activated but in this instance it appears that voice messages were inadvertently activated when the camera batteries were replaced four to five weeks ago.”
We’re going to be looking into just how many of those cameras are activated.