Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Nanny's Council Spies Screw Up

You know how proud Nanny is of her extensive, and ever growing, network of CCTV cameras that follow our every move?

Well, my loyal readers, a rather large fly landed in Nanny's oinkment the other day in the shape of The Thirst.

The Thirst are a Brixton rock band, who were performing a gig at a pub in Chasetown, near Cannock on November 21.

Having duly "gigged", they were making their way back to their vehicles when 30 armed members of Nanny's "finest" (Staffordshire police), dog handlers and a helicopter "greeted" them with the well worn phrase:

"Down on the bloody ground!"

The Thirst were then taken off to the local nick and had their DNA taken.

Was their performance really so bad?, not quite!

Seemingly a member of the local council CCTV monitoring department saw one of The Thirst with a "gun" earlier in the evening.

Nanny's finest leaped to action, after allowing the performance to go ahead, and nicked them.

A few small points to raise at this point:

1 It was not a gun, but a set of jump leads for a flat battery

2 The police, for reasons that escape me, did not look at the CCTV footage themselves; they took the word of a council employee as gospel

3 Having not found any gun, the police still took DNA samples

Am I alone in finding this more than a tad "worrying"?

Since when were council staff members of the police?

Since when was it standard practice to nick, and DNA someone without any evidence?

Suffice to say a full apology has now been given, and an investigation is underway.

However, what would have happened if The Thirst had not been so co-operative?

This could have turned into a very ugly incident, all down to the say so of a council employee.

CCTV is not the be all and end all of law enforcement.

The pictures are invariably lousy, the "evidence" suspect and the fact that CCTV does not deter that many crimes (displacement, zero real time deterrent etc) indicates that it is a poor substitute for real, properly trained officers on the beat.

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  1. archroy11:23 AM

    You describe them as a "Brixton rock band". They wouldn't be, well, sort of, darkish coloured, would they? Probably not used to that type in Cannock, and prone to over-react. Still more useful DNA, what.

  2. 1 It was not a gun, but a set of jump leads for a flat battery.

    And they didnt even start anything!

  3. Archroy - a quick google result suggests that you may have been quite perceptive although I doubt that the people of Cannock would have concerns.

    Still, any publicity is good publicity as Andrew Sachs recently confirmed.

    I do wonder about the UK's Guinness Book of Records claim to the most CCTV camera installation per capita in the world. I think the figures are fudged.

    For example near me there is a recently opened 'park and ride' sort of railway station. It seems to operate with minimal staff and whenever I have been there dropping off or collecting (usually not at peak time) minimal passenger numbers.

    There is a main waiting room, high roof and all glass walls on 3 sides and suitably utilitarian, that would seat perhaps 100 people. In that room there are 6 CCTV cameras, with a few more outside it covering other areas that would also be able to record what happens in the waiting room.

    So, whilst for whatever reason the number of camera units is high the effective coverage on a per place basis is much less.

    Obviously in Cannock they might consider the options for installing more and better quality devices to provide more and better information to the retrained operators.

    As for the police - duplication of effort I would guess. If the lads are from Brixton the chances are that the local plod have already ensured they are on the DNA database ....

    I think we should complain to the government in Brussels. do you have their eMail address Ken?

  4. You seem to have missed the important point that the CCTV operator was vigilant and called the police to a seemingly life-threatening situation. However, the police do not appear to have conducted themselves properly by not confirming the matter. That's a police management matter, but the CCTV worked well, so don't attack the wrong aspect of this story. It almost certain that the CCTV operator will have recorded the arrest in detail. This is for the protection the band members and the arresting officers should there be an inquiry into it later. Surely a useful safeguard for all.

    When one of your friends gets his head kicked in on a Friday night you'll be baying for CCTV footage to nail the culprit. Or would you be happy for them to get away with it using "my drunken word against his" which is the likely alternative.

  5. SDI - The CCTV operator was not vigilant. He reported someone carrying a gun who was not. A vigilant person would be absolutly sure before doing that.

    If a crime was committed as you suggest, I would want police work to catch the culprit, not blanket CCTV coverage of everyone who is out engoying themselves in an evening, just as I would never bleat for blanket DNA sampling, ID cards ect ect.

    Wrongful arrest and your every move being watched is NOT acceptable if it saves just one kiddie......nothing to hide.......blah blah.

  6. SDI;

    Where Nanny's yes sheep go wrong is by not understanding that CCTV can never prevent a crime, it can ONLY record a crime that has already happened....I would rather do away with the CCTV cameras and replace them with what we used to have; Coppers walking the beat that are not straight jacketed by red tape and paper work.....The problem is that if nothing is done now to roll back the state, it will never happen in the future because youngsters are being conditioed to accept all of Nanny's intrusive policies as normal.....Nanny works for the people, not vice versa....People should only come into contact with the police and courts if and only if, they have committed a crime....DNA and finger prints should not be taken and held before a conviction....This notion of taking DNA etc from all people that have been arrested is a sign of lazy policing on the cheap and will turn the public's support for the police to zero....The UK region of the EUSSR, the area that used to be my country, is being turned into one large prison island and it goes against everything being British stood for and against many thousands of men and women gave their lives for.....Shame on Nanny and her yes sheep drones!!

  7. Speenzman1:56 PM

    Hmm, pretty different really. I suppose it must be Nanny's equal opportunities policies- they've now started employing blind CCTV monitors.

  8. microdave2:02 PM

    "Suffice to say a full apology has now been given" - but of course their DNA hasn't been removed from the database. It has recently been admitted that police are now encouraged to arrest people for any reason possible, just to get more samples.

    If the CCTV picture is so poor that the operator can't tell a gun from a set of jump leads, then it is of no use whatsoever.

    High quality cameras are available - there are several you can access via the 'net (and even remotely control from you P.C.) They aren't cheap, but if we have to have the damned things, (and I don't think we do) then their use should be mandatory.

  9. Anonymous2:28 PM

    What happened when there weren't so many CCTV cameras? Was there more crime (though there may be issues of some purious correlation)? What happens in other countries where they don't have CCTV to this extent?
    What has happened to judgement including witnesses and the like?
    If people think CCTV solves everything, will they take risks they would not otherwise, expecting the operator to zoom a policeman in zero seconds to the crime scene? If a pub hs frequent fights, why go there, for example? Are policemen also changing their habits as a result of the reliance on CCTV?
    As Ken hinted, displacement ie someone looking at a CCTV from a distqance, is not always a deterrent. Instead of paying for someone to watch the CCTV (or lots of screens, meaning while they are watching one, they may miss a crime on another) a policeman could be on patrol (in pairs if a dangerous area) as a more effective deterrant, & therefore able to more easily nab someone on the spot just before, during or after a crime or incident happens or is brewing. One benefit of this is mercy. If a youngster is just about to get in a fight, friends or police may help him or her by being present and stopping the fight becoming criminal. The near presence (as opposed to the distant and non-human presence of a CCTV operator or film) of a good and living policeman also may encourage friends or strangers to intervene, thus preventing or minimising harm.
    I read a story recently about another country where they use CCTV a lot. Some women are fearful when they change clothes at night in their own homes because state officials ie Nanny-types turn the CCTV cameras towards their windows at night. That is only one kind of abuse of these things. Film can also disappear or be edited.
    In a good-enough society ie where there is privacy & freedom, some crime will happen, & some will remain unsolved. The only way to stop all crime is for everyone to die. Even then, some pidgeons will poop on our graves.
    Enjoy your CCTVs responsibly.

  10. Could have been worse, I suppose.

    They could have been sawn-off jump leads!

  11. had this been a "real" incident and the item seen was a gun why the hell did they wait 3hrs plus to investigate them and arrest them if found necessary?

    What if they had used the gun at the event they were going to and caused mass deaths? If we have to put up with constant surveilliance in our life can't they at least use it effectively?