back to article Home Office plans to force CCTV on shops and pubs

If you’re planning to buy alcohol in the near future, and prefer not to have your mugshot made available to the local police, best to stock up now. Because, buried deep within the debate around the s.31 of the Policing and Crime Bill are provisions that will allow the Secretary of State to instruct your local corner shop - or …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title Citzen!

    Not much longer till the whole of the UK is just a big open prison, It really is turning into an opressive shithole of a place. Glad I voted with my feet years ago.

  2. Tim

    Can they force me to show my face?

    What if my religion means i cannot show my face, but am compelled to down several flagons of spesh a week? surely they cannot breach my human rights in such an egregious manner!

  3. N Silver badge

    Welcome to

    1984 & beyond,

    What a pointless heap of shite considering all but the most stupidest of crooks will wear a mask to rob the local offie'.

    Of course it smacks of 'The innocent have nothing to fear' well if that is true, then what about the publication of the minutes from ministerial discussions regarding the legality of the 2003 invasion of Iraq?

    Surely they have 'nothing to fear' either & of much more significance than watching the few people who can still afford a pint of beer, enjoying it in a pub.

  4. Dean

    Police State

    Need I say more?

  5. michael

    most worring part

    is the plans again for the law to as the power for the government ministers to bypass parliament when ever they feel like it

  6. Paul Murphy
    Paris Hilton

    What about supermarkets?

    It's on display to anyone visiting, so surely that should be videoed as well.

    Sigh ...rather than making the drinking of alcohol a banned activity (yeah good luck with that one) how about legislation making it mandatory to give children between 8 and 15 small amounts of alcohol in adult-controlled situations, such as dinner time, so that they learn to accept it as part of family life.

    PH - on display, videoed ... say no more.


  7. Martin H Watson

    Put them on the net, then,,,

    I'll be able to drink cheap supermarket booze and still have the atmosphere of my local.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I'm so glad...

    ... that my NZ Visa has been granted.

  9. Nebulo
    Thumb Down


    OK, kiddies, visit instead, and do a bit of science homework.

    But be quick before the Enemy Within bans that too, and better disguise it before they force their obscene snooping technology into your bloody home as well.

    I despise these vermin and what they are doing to (what used to be) my country.


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Police State - Who Can Doubt It?

    Can anyone still seriously doubt that we're turning into a police state? Oh, but it's "for the protection of children".

    This sounds like a law to make shopkeepers police themselves on behalf of the State. What's next?

    "Citizen! For the sake of the children, you must suspect yourself. You must keep yourself under surveillance, to demonstrate that you are not in any way a danger to children. If you are a danger to children, it will help you to help us to help you to help us keep you from actually doing any harm. Telescreens for this purpose are available at your local supermarket, for your convenience. As always, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."

    Where's the Big Brother icon?

  11. Elmer Phud

    who pays?

    Apart from the snooping bastards trying to collect more and more info on folks - no doubt its the shops that will have to fit new, approved CCTV kit out of their own pockets, that or have their licence revoked.

  12. Michael

    House of Commons Bar?

    I can't wait for the members to come up with an exception that stops them being filmed at 3 AM (with the Cheeky Girls, most likely) in the House of Commons bar.

    Police state. Time to leave!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    This could also include 'outside' of premises

    Locally, one common issue is under-age kids waiting outside licensed premises asking older (legal age) teens or 'sympathetic' adults to buy on their behalf - much the same as their usual way of obtaining cigarettes.

    The person who's buying 'on behalf of' the minor is breaking the law both when they do so and when they subsequently pass it to that minor outside.

    I can see a scenario where some premises could be compelled to cover a certain area 'outside' the shop in the public street in an attempt to catch people doing this?

    While I'm all for keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors - having seen too often the problems it can cause - I think that's maybe a step too far because it places yet more public places under surveilance, so even more people simply going about their lawful business fall under the watchful eye of Big Brother.

    I just don't buy the line about "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" - my private business is just that - private - and my privacy is a basic right.

    And if the Home Office are going to trot out that line, maybe practicing what they preach would be a good start... Ministerial Veto anybody? Yeah... thought so...

  14. Dan Keating


    What next .. obligatory CCTV in homes to monitor whether parents are plying their children with alcohol? How about CCTV on ministers 'first' houses so we can determine when they were in residence and when they were not!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    North of the boarder

    Will this latest bit of big brother government cover north of the Borders? I believe both policing and licensing are devolved (but I could be wrong).

  16. Steve Cragg

    So, lets count this all up.

    1) DNA Database of convicted and innocent parties.

    2) Travel Database of all UK and none-UK citizens.

    3) Child Database of every child.

    4) ID Cards - I.E. Database of all personal information.

    5) Communications Database of all Phone calls, Emails, SMS's.

    6) Ability for any government (including local councils) to obtain any information about any citizens.

    7) Huge outdoors CCTV system.

    8) Now "soon" to be indoors CCTV system.

    9) Offence to photograph a member of the police force.

    10) Stop and searchs on a whim.

    11) Huge medical Database of every UK citizen.

    Have i missed anything? And someone explain to me what else needs to be done before we reach 1984.

  17. terry doyle
    Thumb Down

    OMG ... its a police state

    Thank goodness I live abroad. I can't believe the amount of absurd control you are getting in the UK.

    What about educating people to drink responsibly? What about getting society as a whole to act better. I'm not surprised hooliganism is on the rise.

  18. Dave Bell

    Another nail in the coffin?

    In the village where I used to live there is one shop. Since I moved it has lost the Post Office contract. This could nudge it out of the Off-Licence business--it doesn't have much space devoted to that.

    Though such a CCTV system would also watch the cash register--there might be one already.

    This might not be a problem for the businesses, but will it mean the Police can get pictures of every supermarket customer?

  19. alan

    CCTV - Solves All Problems

    Lets have some filming MPs claiming expenses to stop them defrauding the tax payers.

    As we all know that CCTV magically solves all problems without the need for expensive police officers, and that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    "Free whitepaper - the critical role of data loss prevention"

    Looks like Plod is an enthusiastic Reg Whitepaper reader.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Obviously this must somehow be connected to the War Against Terror [TM] or a crackdown on paedophiles, but I can't quite see how.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    I can see it now....

    "Sorry we can't use the footage to prosecute the violent robber, but you have got footage of you selling to minors so if you'd like to show us your wrists....."

    Didn't the rozzers get smacked for this earlier this month for saying they would not contest a licence application as long as the landlord put in CCTV and gave them unlimited access to it?

    Time for a change of government - this one is giving the police too many Police State powers.

  23. David Adams

    I forsee a change

    Instead of spotty teenagers hanging round the off licence asking me to buy them beer,

    I'll be sending them in to get some for me!!

  24. Dave
    Black Helicopters

    John John John...

    As you well know there is no law that makes things available to police on request. If CCTV has EVIDENCE of an OFFENCE then police have the power to seize that evidence for the purpose of investigating that offence. So there's no extension of powers required there.

    You're jumping at shadows, a draft report? You know as well as I do some of those reports never see the light of day in ANY way once someone with a bit of wit reads them. So saying the contents may be "quietly dropped" while sounding sinister, is really meaningless. and draconian penalties for individuals who sell alcohol to under-age purchasers... those who sell to young persons could be fined up to £2,500 (presently £500).

    So is the "draconian powers" of which you speak the power to fine them £500? Or the power to remove the licence from a retailer than is shown to be repeatedly breaking the law and the terms of that licence? Yes, we're one step away from Nazi Germany on that one.

    Lets be realistic here, you find me an off licence or bar that DOESN'T have cameras already. Because despite what the tinfoil hat brigade will say about it making no difference CCTV does reduce crime.

    If it doesn't why does almost every shop in the land spend so much of their own money installing and maintaining it? Are they ALL just stupid?

    So really the emphasis might be said to be - your CCTV should be of a certain minimum standard and keep footage for 60 days rather than the more common 28 days. Has the price of Hard drive media gone up when I wasn't looking?

    I can see where you're coming from, there is a sense of "mission creep" here in relation to licensing regulations but I wonder how that relates to the introduction of 24 hour drinking? By any chance do you know how well that's gone in respect of alcohol related crime? Just curious.

    Its not CCTV related so might not be your bag as such but if you want to see some genuinely sweeping powers in relation to licensing have a look at part 1 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act. Now that's proper scary. How would you like the police to be be able to:

    Ban you as a person from entering a bar or club that sells alcohol for up to 2 years

    Demand additional money from licence holders in an area and use that money to take steps to reduce disorder (like installing additional police CCTV?)

    Designate an area as a disorder zone and serve a notice on bars prohibiting them from selling alcohol for 24 hrs.

    Demand that anyone under 16 leave the area and not return within 24 hours. Sort of like martial law.

    Mad eh? This isn't a draft law, its been passed already. But the powers in it, much like the RIPA act, have mostly yet to be used.

    And again I'll say I'd like to see a comparison of who is watching us more, the police or Ronald McDonald and co.

  25. EdwardP

    Recording Transactions...

    So, when I next type my Pin into one of those Card Reader jobbies, there may be a camera recording it? No room for abuse there then.

    Going to be a good year for Camera manufacturers and fraudsters alike, who says they Gov't are doing nothing to stimulate the economy...

  26. Simon

    Lets hope it gets dropped then!

    Well what with pubs closing down anyway after things like the smoking ban and the remaining pubs (Around the area I live) regulary attracting up to 3 customers on a Saturday night, who the hell are they going to film anyway?

    I'm sure most pubs and shops have CCTV installed anyway (To catch shoplifters, etc) so we don't need the burden of more laws.

    I don't understand making small shops install CCTV, don't the owners get fined anyway for selling to underaged? We already have schemes in place where ID is required if you look underage, it's almost like saying that the shop owners can't be trusted (I'm sure that's in the minority anyway, but you do say that in the article)

    This goverment just doesn't seem to trust us anymore and is obssesed with covering our once loved country in CCTV cameras. I *know* they are a waste of time, a few years ago a CCTV camera caught a youth vandalising my motorbike on it but the police said they couldn't use the footage, WTF?

    So how about this for an idea, how about we get some police on the streets and if they catch a drunken youth, they arrest them, threaten the parents with a fine or jail.

    Can we get back to good old fashion policing and get rid of this obsession with CCTV.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    On the other hand...

    This could actually have some good uses too. If every place you can get booze from has to have good-quality CCTV fitted then anyone stupid enough to try robbing the stuff could find themselves on Crimewatch a bit quicker, which should actually make life safer for the staff and other customers.

    Except, instead of buying or stealing straight from the store, they would need to waylay the customers after they exit the shop instead. Or they would need to force the staff into handing over the recordings, or they would obscure the cameras before nicking stuff (could be as simple as getting your mate to spray the camera with car paint before you go in, or one of many other countersurveillance techniques - you only get one freebie, and I don't want to give the boys in blue the chance to say I'm giving away information that could be of use to terrorists...)

    Wonder how long it will be before They decide the feed has to be sent straight to Spy Central...

    "It's for your own good, Citizen. If we see a crime in progress, we can despatch the Criminal Protection Service that little bit quicker."

    Tough on Crime? Tough on the causes of crime for sure - if you didn't have it, there'd be nothing for the criminals to try to take from you. Therefore, all crime must be the victim's fault.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIPA makes CCTV on request

    "As you well know there is no law that makes things available to police on request. If CCTV has EVIDENCE of an OFFENCE then police have the power to seize that evidence for the purpose of investigating that offence. So there's no extension of powers required there."

    RIPA does not require that the CCTV have EVIDENCE of OFFENCE, it requires only that the officer *assert* that it *may* have EVIDENCE of OFFENCE. Or in the case of Opposition MP Damien Green they didn't even need to do that, they simply asked the "Serjeant at Arms" to let them in. If you were an off license and the rozzers can make your life extremely difficult, even put you out of business, would you refuse them access?

    So no, the rozzers can get any CCTV they want at any time.

    "So is the "draconian powers" of which you speak the power to fine them £500?"

    To comply with this clause the shop keeper would have to obtain IDs from every purchaser or risk a criminal sentence and being forced out of business. PAPERS PLEASE!

    CCTV is not currently compulsory and my local shop does not have CCTV, the alcohol is BEHIND THE COUNTER, and so he sees who buys it. There is no reason for the police to see who buys it. There is no reason to keep that data for 60 days, the police should need a warrant and evidence of a crime to obtain it.

    Now it's alcohol, next it will be cigarettes.

    "Demand that anyone under 16 leave the area and not return within 24 hours. Sort of like martial law."

    Yes indeed, exactly like martial law and the Rozzers have been repeatedly told by the courts that they cannot enforce curfews even on children using these laws yet they do it anyway. Who will stop them? The police?

    It comes down to the simply problem, Jacqui does not have a fix for any problem that doesn't include a new power for her police that bypasses the courts. She puts in more CCTV, more surveillance, more arbitrary police powers and even the police don't want them.

    If it's OK to photograph EVERYONE ALL THE TIME, then why is it a crime to photograph police officers now? Why do we not have Jacqui telephone logs available to see if she fiddled her expenses or not? She could authorize the release of her mobile phone log, which would include the details of where she was when and she could prove she did not fraudulently claim expenses to which she was not entitled.

    One rule for her and her police force, one rule for the rest of us. If the police object to a CCTV in their canteen then they should not support CCTV of everyone else.

  29. Tim


    While i appreciate your sentiments, the premise of your argument is wrong in entirety. Almost all alcohol selling sites have CCTV, but i guarantee not all, and i also guarantee the most still use the crappy slow vhs type that doesnt actually do much good.

    Even if ALL sites had CCTV, you then force them to adhere to 60 days, which in the case of the crappy vhs mongers, means having 60 tapes stacked up, dated and securely locked away, with NO chance for any loss of data.

    PROVING who the person buying alcohol is based on camera evidence is also then completely pointless as we all know how flimsy this evidence is (if anyone has tried to prosecute vandals filmed from their own cameras will know), This evidence miraculously becomes inadmissible or not enough for the CPS to do anything with.

    Add to all this the lack of security with Chip and PIN, which i DO NOT want filmed.

    All in all, the innocent should have nothing to fear, but that is now at the expense of the shopowner being saddled with the responsibility to police themselves, rather than that job belonging to the erm......police!

    Now as others have mentioned, if everything is above board with the government, why cannot we see their dealings? National security? National disgrace morelike!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be fair

    It's no different than walking around your supermarket.. they have you on camera as soon as your foot steps in the door, also if you live in an area with a decent take away, they'll deliver beer along with your pizza!

  31. Andy
    Thumb Down

    Early April fool?

    Enough now, we all know it's not April for another month.

    This isn't a joke?

    I feel a summer of discontent coming on.......

  32. John Ozimek

    David, David, David

    I do hate doing this exchange by e-mail, since I suspect that face-to-face we would not disagree all that much. You pick up a couple of fair points in the piece, and I hope I can clarify.

    Yes: police have no powers to look at/demand to view material unless investigating a crime. That said, this piece is based on sight of some draft guidelines (which could very well be buried come summer) that appear to change the ground rules in that respect.

    I did say that the measures have not yet been approved and yes: we both know that could mean they will go nowhere. On the other hand, one issue is the continuing trend by government to pass enabling legislation, with the scary powers put through in statutory instruments later.

    There's also the tired old: "cctv's the solution: now what's the problem". And I do think there is a question to be answered in terms of where the cameras might to be pointed. The Home Office have been unclear on this.

    As you rightly point out: most shops who care about pilfering already have cams in place. Some don't because it just isn't cost-effective. The ACS take the view that in most cases, stores are perfectly able to work out what makes most financial sense for themselves.

    So this is another case of government legislating to little real effect.

    Like you, I worry about some of the more draconian powers taken by government: if you want me to write about non-techy issues, you need to take that up with the editor of El Reg (to whom all praise and glory....).

    Maybe we would disagree about the merits of such powers being taken and not much used. I think that's a bad thing, giving too much arbitrary authority to the police. Creating too much of a climate of fear.

    If you ever wish to debate off board, do please memo me directly.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    CCTV is good for...

    (a) protecting the innocent?

    (b) preventing crimes against people and property?

    (c) giving the authorities (police, local and national government) the ability to "crack down" on serious, hardcore criminals (3mph over the speed limit after dark and on an otherwise deserted 60mph-limited road, smoking inside the pub doorway, a man getting arrested for "filming a juvenile without his parents' permission" while the little scrote was smashing the man's car up AGAIN, shadow ministers releasing data proving the Government are lying out their teeth, celebrities describing Our Glorious Leader in an unflattering - though COMPLETELY ACCURATE - manner) while preventing the waste of Police Time in the pursuit of minor offences (attacks on over a dozen women in the town in the last year, boy racers doing 60mph along the seafront and through town while subjecting pedestrians to crap "music" at extremely high levels, vandalism, druggies on the beach, the annual "One-Off" theft of pensions money from every private pension scheme in the country)...

    Answers on the back of a signed confession to your local Chief Constable...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    All those thinking of leaving/who have already left...

    Cowards. stay and try to fight the police state before it's too late. Give me freedom or give me death!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Same for me. Some toerags broke into my house and were caught on the local councils CCTV doing it. Plod wouldn't use it as evidence because the CPS told them it wasn't proof they'd broken into my house. I called the local council and asked them what the point of their CCTV system was if it couldn't be used as evidence and they told me crime prevention! Fucktards.

  36. John Smith Gold badge

    Targets the real enemies of the state

    The people of course.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    When does Closed Circuit cease to be Closed Curcuit?

    I think all of these places must also register with the DPA; having my data without permission for 60 days is a joke. It's abuse of the implied permissions that CC has and adds to the erosion of privacy.

    For the law-abiding citizen (and gee that must be 99.9% of all offie visitors), get fucked or stay sober. Very Orwellian.

    (Yes, another expat who'd rather go to the US now than UK)

  38. Anonymous Coward

    nothing to see here

    most pubs and shops have cctv anyway these days so not like this will make that much difference

  39. David Hicks

    What are they afraid of?

    The more I read about this authoritarian stuff coming out of the Labour party, the more I wonder.

    The anger I first felt years ago with the announcment of ID is still there, but with every new measure something else strengthens - pity.

    Something has obviously made these people extremely scared, scared of foreigners, scared of dissidents, scared of children, scared of everyone.

    They need therapy, not power.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't Most Shops Have CCTV Already...

    Well all the ones I shop in do & I live in a rural area. I can understand if shops that have a problem with underage drinking or theft install them as shops tend to be where youths get their alcohol illicity. It's not much of a civil liberties threat unless the police review the videos regularly or they are linked to facial recognition technology. I can understand the same for pubs with a history of trouble, but I don't think many people go into pubs with the intention of drinking or buying alcohol underage (e.g. expense being one reason). So there's a case for shops, but not for pubs.

  41. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

    Go 1984

    What a superb Windows program that is. It records only when something happens. You can get years of coverage on a hard drive. However the police are asking the licence holder to install equipment which can be used to incriminate themselves. It is quite possible to go back and delete scenes, especially the ones with the underage selling.

    Now answering the question of why CCTV is so popular, it's because the police won't investigate a crime unless it's on CCTV, so if you want their help then you had better record some evidence. This was a double edged sword, until they made it illegal to film them. OK so that's now unavoidable so it simply won't be admissable in court because admitting you have the police on tape will be admitting to a crime.

    Now we still have sensible people in the police but they are coming up for retirement. They will be replaced by young thugs and smart evil graduates who will find very creative ways of using these new all encompasing powers.

    We already have the doublethink which says children should never be exposed to alcohol, backed by increasingly bizzar government health advice.

    Most people on this site can see this happening, infact most people can see this Police State crap happening. However some people are still rationalizing it by saying it's not that bad and it's already here (as if that makes it ok). It's incremental.

    The next thing has got to be the linking of the cameras to government approved monitoring station due to the problems of licencees tampering with the data and the benifits of better CCTV coverage. Oh it's not here yet but it's clearly down the road just a few years.

    A change of government won't help, it's not really Labour doing all this. It is at the moment because they are in the driving seat, but they are not planning the journey. A change of courty won't help becaue this crap is being directed globally. Anyone who is glad they are not in the UK, just watch out, you're next.

  42. Anonymous Coward


    they're actually "breeding" terrorists - whilst never a fan of El Gov, every day, with every further restriction, with every fear-led, knee-jerk idiotic piece of draconian legislation made in the name of "protecting the children from paedophiles/terrorists"... each little bit makes me want to nerve gas the house of commons that little bit more.

    Jolly Roger - because of the "cookbook"

  43. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up



    I have no choice, not that I ever really did have a choice. I have no idea what my personal "information", my image, is being used for.

    The local shop-keeper on tight overheads now needs to spring for a couple hundred quids worth of gear, which the local rat-boys will steal after they've nicked all the fags, booze and takings! I doubt the government will subsidise this stupid bloody idea!

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Time to leave?

    Anyone saying....

    "Police State! Time to leave!"

    Is talking crazy talk, what we need to do is vote these moronic, nu-labour, cock suckers out of power and vote in a government that actually represents YOU!

  45. Chika

    It's all just an excuse

    We are all missing the point here. Whether or not CCTV cuts crime or infringes on civil liberties, the fact is that we have a mentality in the government that believes that the policing of crime can be done by camera on the cheap. They don't want to put serious money into proper policing because they are too busy pouring tax-payers' money into other schemes that we never really wanted anyway, then justifying it with lame excuses like "it's for the children" and such.

    A camera is just a tool, not a solution. HMG believes otherwise and, until they stop it with these stupid ideas and gets really serious about methods to reduce crime, all we are likely to see are more cameras.

    The photos of me putting me coat on will be circulated from a "lost" laptop on YouTube at some point in the next few hours, I suspect.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    videoing transactions...

    So they'll have video of your credit card? And, if the other mad scheme goes ahead, your ID card? Perfect for a new crime: nicking CCTV tapes to steal card details from.

    Not to mention the human rights and DPA implications of your "facial recognition biometric" being stored on an insecure system in some backroom of a 7-11.

    And furthermore: on the one hand I'm not allowed to take a photo of a police officer "in case it might be of use to terrorists", on the other my local "must" take and keep my picture for the police to use at their leisure. What if, shock horror, a terrorist infiltrates the police force? Or a cop starts selling data to the baddies? Nah, it'd never happen...

    And... hmm, where does that put the cops favorite boozer I wonder? :-) And would an off-license be keeping but breaking the law by filming an off-duty policeman buying gin? Uh... my head hurts.

    All that said, this is /already/ happening. I heard of a pub that recently applied to renew its license terms and the landlord was told it would be refused unless he installed CCTV at the doors and gave the police the tapes on demand (ie without a warrant).

  47. John

    They are going to far...

    .. so how do we go about saying so and getting them out ?

    They aren't meant to be working for us, but clearly a lot of people do not feel this to be in the our interest at all. Lets show them we have had enough somehow.

  48. Kieron McCann

    Who thinks of this shit?

    I'd like to know because I would like to give them a firm kick in the trouser department.

    What's next ID cards and CCTV required to purchase high fat foods - oh f*ck I've just given them another idea. Self administering trouser kick now!

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Wake up

    We are the commodity of the few.

  51. Tezfair
    Thumb Up

    easily defeated

    Let them have their CCTV, you simply wear a hat full of high intensity Infra Red LEDs and it will blind the camera. Its been demoed out there in webbyland.

  52. Frumious Bandersnatch

    right against self-incrimination

    I know that in the US a person can "plead the fifth" to avoid incriminating themselves, but I wasn't sure if that also applied in the UK. Britannica says (fair use, guv?):

    In Anglo-American practice, on the other hand, a person other than an accused cannot refuse to testify; he may only cite his privilege against self-incrimination, and the judge decides whether he must testify. If required to testify, he must answer all questions except those he considers to be self-incriminating.

    So I wonder whether this law can actually be enforced. It seems like common sense that the video from the camera, being the property of the shop-owner, is "incriminating evidence", but is handing the tape over to the rozzers a form of self-incrimination? If so, why would anyone in their right mind hand it over?

  53. Luther Blissett

    Future human capital - or just junk bonds?

    The opportunity cost of installing all these CCTV cameras so that the kids loitering about don't get enebriated from boredom, can't be far off from providing some place for the kids to hang out in off the street in the first place. But....

    It would seem just too much trouble for the jobsworths in our local councils.

  54. Anonymous Coward


    We're all cowards. While many millions have sacrificed their lives for the ideals upon which our lifestyle is based, we sit by and watch as those ideals are incrementally compromised. Sure, we may natter on in some remote blog, forum, or comments section but all we're doing is preaching to the choir. We discuss our feelings in order in a self-serving attempt to alleviate our frustrations, but at the same time most of us do not devote any significant portion of our time to change the course upon which our respective nations have embarked.

    We must make a concerted effort to revive the ideals upon which the Western World is founded - freedom and democracy. E-mailing your politician is not enough. He's in it for the power; it's how he earns his bread. Contributing to some civil liberties organization is worthless as they will merely piss away your money on lawyers as they fiddle with their assholes. This is going to take a grassroots effort and a focus on the fundamental issues which allow authoritarianism to thrive: ignorance, lack of critical thought, apathy, and complacency. At once we must engage in conventional tactics of persuasion such as writing editorials, books, music, videos, art, etc. but at the same time there are several innovative tactics we can use to persuade our audience (the masses): for instance guerilla theatre and the manipulation of mass media through mass effort.

    I truly believe that no thinking man would accept authoritarianism over freedom. All we need to do is provide that spark that causes people to think for themselves.

    I'm looking for input and constructive criticism on this. Any ideas?

  55. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Cowards

    The Convention on Modern Liberty may be right up your street:

    But hurry - it's this Saturday!

    I gather El Reg is taking part?

  56. Chris
    Thumb Down

    RE: Backdoor ID?

    So wait. In Blighty it isn't already necessary to provide proof of age to buy alcohol?

    It is over here. I don't generally have to, as I am more than twice the legal drinking age, and look it, but one large liquor store near me was cited for sales to minors in the recent past. As a consequence, they card *everyone*, regardless of how old they look, and the DOB must be entered into the cash register before it will process the sale. In addition, anyone under 30 must fill out and sign an affidavit testifying they are over 21, which is kept on file, to protect the establishment against the use of fake IDs (extremely common over here).

    Some states have extremely weird regulations about alcohol sales. In Pennsylvania, wine and spirits can only be purchased at state-owned liquor stores. But not beer. For that you must go to a beverage distributor, which only sells it by the case. If you want less than a case, you have to go to a bar, but you are only allowed to buy a maximum of 12 there (not sure about the total volume, but I think a dozen 750 ml bottles of an Imperial IPA are probably out). Then they have strange rules about bars, like ashtrays are not allowed to have more than 2 cigarette butts before they must be emptied. (This was years ago, before smoking began to be banned in bars. I don't know if it is still in force.)

    Utah is even worse, since the state is controlled by non-drinking Mormons.

  57. Andus McCoatover


    1) Hat full of high intensity IR LED's won't work. You must take your hat off when you walk in the pub. (That'll be the next one in PACE)

    2) I love the idea of more, more, more CCTV cameras - and less, less, less rozzers to have the time to view the avalanche of data. Snow the fuc*ktards with infinite data.

    3) Getting shopkeepers to pay for this themselves? 'kin hell!

    4) Can't these be unplugged?? Rozzers ask for the video - "Sorry, Ossifer, the cleaner must've used the socket for her Hoover.

    Cor, Finland isn't brilliant, but it sure feels like Heaven at the moment...

  58. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    So what are you doing ... ?

    Plenty of people noting the Police State is arriving ( having missed that it's been here for quite a while and is simply expanding ), and plenty of complaint, lamenting and so forth, but what is anyone actually doing about it, or planning to do ?

    They keep shafting you because they can, and will keep doing so. Mere words while bending over and taking it won't stop them.

  59. Sooty

    problem with cctv

    is that 99% of the time crimes are captured on it anyway, but it's not admissible as evidence in most cases.

    how is this new system going to be any different?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    ... it would make more sense to include mandatory audio-recordings into any such legislation. Much more useful when it comes to finding out about potential evildoers.

    RE: Cowards

    AC, I salute you. Resist. Whenever you comply with what you experience as repressive, you give more power to the dominant hegemony.

  61. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    "It is not wholly clear what the purpose of this measure would be."

    Yes it is, it's to get us even more used to the idea that the Government can monitor us wherever we go, whatever we do, whoever we talk to, whatever web sites we visit, whatever we buy...

    The more used we are to this, the less we'll be (or we're supposed to be) likely to object to Government collated and controlled Databases of our DNA or our purchases or our movements or our web browsing or our phone calls...

    Remember: It's for your own good, citizen!

  62. Suburban Inmate

    Leverage existing collaboration technologies!

    In defence of social cohesion against the totalitarian onslaught! Something along the lines of a boozer (and related minigames) with voice and video overlays on (or instead of) 3D virtual punters.

    If a virtual battlefield with virtual guns is good enough for blowing people up, then for the post-fight pint surely a virtual boozer with REAL booze...

    The coat with the PhysX coded traffic cone.

  63. Dave

    @ AC 11:36

    RIPA has nothing to do with the seizure of CCTV evidence in the terms you're talking about. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act allows a constable with REASONABLE GROUNDS to seize evidence of an offence and retain it for the duration of the investigation

    The burden of reasonable grounds is dependant on caselaw but this in itself is quite a broad power where, as Mr Ozimek I think pointed out in another piece, the evidence is possibly 1 file on a PC or server that you need to conduct your business. you can apply to the court to have property returned and you've a fairly good chance in the case of seizure of a computer system or whole CCTV appliance. - Seizing whole CCTV systems is only done as a last resort I understand in cases where not to do so may result in the loss of evidence.

    In fact the rest of your post and the reference to needing a warrant implies you don't know all you might about police powers so I'll not labour the point. Have a read of the PACE act if you're genuinely interested. But prepare to be aghast as its probably worse than you thought.

    @TIM: Yes its saying your CCTV has to be of a standard (otherwise why bother you have to ask). It imposes more positive obligations on the citizen but this isn't without precedent. Its similar to making it an obligation to tell the vehicle licensing agency when you disposed of your car, or that amazing bit of legislation RIPA. Though not all bits are enacted yet it imposes a LOT of responsibilities on service providers, a subject of some comment on El Reg and elsewhere. Compare the need to have 60 days of CCTV to the obligation logs of ISP customers for YEARS.

    Mr Ozimek knows my form (though I'm not expecting a birthday card this year). All I'm saying is that no one is polishing their jackboots in anticipation of this particular draft proposal.

    Bad laws happen. In my view a law that cannot be enforced realistically shouldn't be on the statute books and the emerging trend of offences becoming absolute - without requiring an unlawful mens rea - is far more worrying.

  64. Dave
    Thumb Up


    I couldn't agree more. Given the choice between another camera or a well trained professional policeman on the beat I'll take the latter every time.

  65. mark
    Thumb Down

    It's already going on...

    Southwark Council in London recently included in the license conditions of one of my favourite drinking establishments (Shunt, under London Bridge station) a requirement that they store an image of an identity piece of every single punter going into the place.

    Aside from the fact that a collective of artists-cum-bar managers is hardly likely to have a clue about data protection and privacy (as revealed in various emails that have been going back and forward between myself and them), the fact that they haven't bothered registering with the ICO, and the fact that their door staff will scan your ID without asking for your consent or explaining what it's for, the council seems quite happy with the arrangement.

    They have implemented a system called Clubscan - - which boasts amongst its selling points the ability to build a whopping database of customers by OCRing the data off of identity cards, including, for example, the address from a driving license, allowing the place to build up a mailing list. Not to mention the ability to link up with other systems stored in the area, so that once a person is barred from one club, they're barred from all.

    The people agreeing to this in local councils don't appear to have the foggiest about the data privacy issues at stake here.

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