Big Brother is Watching: Talking Cameras invade Britain

Dennis Faas's picture

British Homeland Security has put a new spin on video surveillance. By introducing CCTV cameras equipped with loudspeakers, security staff may now verbally berate those seen committing crimes.

The cameras will have a two-way speaker system that allows staff to talk and respond directly to the perpetrator. The British government has high expectations for the talking cameras, because many believe that their presence will deter those considering breaking the law at the risk of public embarrassment.

British Homeland Security forces have already reported a significant decline in crime rates in the areas equipped with these cameras, while also touting the fact that these areas are now cleaner than ever before because of reduced litter and pollution. (Source:

Still, many civilians argue that the new cameras are an invasion of privacy. Representatives at Liberty, an active British civil rights group, claim that the talking cameras are nothing more than "high-tech toys that gives camera operators massive powers to invade the lives of ordinary people." (Source:

The government has argued against these allegations, while promising that the CCTV cameras will not be a substitute for real police officers.

The British government has already invested nearly 500,000 pounds (approximately $1.14 million) towards these new cameras. It is expected that over 20 more areas all over Britain will be equipped by the end of this year, bringing the total to 4.2 million CCTV cameras nationwide (or one camera for every 14 people). (Source:

Approximately 78% of the crime prevention budget has gone, or is in the process of going, to the implementation of these cameras.

Analysts report that government officials have promised to stay committed throughout the entire CCTV project and will even implement more cameras in the future, dependent on the long-term success of these devices.

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