Campaigners urge talkative CCTV cameras to shut up
Camden Council has come under fire from campaign group Big Brother Watch following the introduction of a new breed of CCTV camera which can bark orders at any miscreants in its sights.
It follows the introduction of American accented devices at London’s St Pancras in September, which erroneously instructed members of the public to leave in a threatening Robocop style tone.
Bemused passers-by were treated to an abrasive order to depart with a pre-recorded message saying: “Stop, this is a restricted area and your photograph is being taken. It will be sent for processing if you don't leave the area now.”
A Camden Council spokesperson said: “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 do not want to stop residents from enjoying their open spaces and communal areas and under no circumstances would we want voice messages to be used in areas where they may be disturbed. The voice messages will be deactivated as soon as possible.”
Nick Pickles, of pressure group Big Brother Watch, railed: “This kind of technology may be acceptable in a police state or a science fiction film, but it is absolutely not in modern Britain.”