“An increase in monitoring has made the U.K. a surveillance society,” according to the BBC News on Thursday November 2, 2006. The quote came from Dr. David Murakami-Wood, co-writer of the Report on the Surveillance Society.
There are up to 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain. That figure translates to one camera for every four people. You might think this excessive and would be more likely in some police states, but not the United Kingdom. Well, let’s compare the British figures to those, say, from China.
The Daily Mail on August 11, 2009, reported, “...in police state China, which has a population of 1.3 billion, there are just 2.75 million cameras, equivalent of one for every 472,000 of its citizens.” The Daily Mail goes on to say in their report that Britain has a half times as many surveillance cameras as China. “A person in the country is caught on camera an average of 300 times daily.”
That comment was not made about China.
In Britain, almost all of those cameras are in public places monitoring the citizenry. The police are the faceless figures behind the unblinking eye of the lenses as they keep a close watch on the populace. They might tell you that no matter where a crime is committed, chances are there is a digital camera close by ready to photograph the perpetrators.
Big Brother is alive and well in the United Kingdom and slowly making its way around the world. George Orwell would have been either pleased or horrified for us at the prospect of his idea of the future coming true.
You want to operate a good business today? Become a supplier and installer of CCTV cameras. You’re likely to find more than enough companies willing to hand over whatever money it takes to increase their security.
In major Canadian and American cities, these surveillance cameras are being installed in high crime areas. They are also being installed on private properties. I know, because I have one of these expensive systems around the perimeter of my home. I didn’t install it to have the latest gadgets on display.
These systems are also being installed on the exterior and interior of workplaces. No matter what company or institution you walk into today, you are no doubt being watched on a closed-circuit CCTV system or one that is being monitored offsite at a security firm. Not all of what the watchers see and record is criminal in nature. Such is the case exemplified in security-camera footage collected from around the world and arranged as a Coca-Cola commercial. This commercial's video is posted here on this page as proof that there are still good people and even heroes walking among us.
As one of their slogans said in the past: “It’s the real thing”.
Don Jackson, March 6 2013