Articles by Charles Farrier




















CCTVThis week the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, made it clear that he sees the expansion of the UK surveillance camera network as a vote winner in the coming general election [1]. Brown was in Reading delivering a speech on ‘crime and anti-social behaviour’, he said [2]:

CCTV and DNA are crucial.

There are of course some who think CCTV is “excessive”, but they probably don’t have to walk home or take the night bus on their own at the end of a night out. For the rest of us, for ordinary hard working, decent people, the evidence is clear: CCTV reduces the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour.

That is why this government has funded CCTV in nearly 700 town centre schemes over the last decade — and why in the coming months we are bringing in a new power for people to petition their local authority for more CCTV, with the authority having a duty to respond.

Now the opposition parties have campaigned against CCTV — our support for CCTV will be on the ballet paper at any coming election.


The secret development of CCTV UAVs or drones represents yet another example of Administrative Lawlessness now evident the world over as civil liberties are squandered.

All we have of freedom, all we use or know –
this our fathers bought for us long and long ago.

– Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue

A recent Guardian newspaper article (‘CCTV in the sky: police plan to use military-style spy drones’, 23rd January 2010[1]) reveals plans to use surveillance drones/Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to spy on UK citizens. The project, called the South Coast Partnership, sees arms manufacturer BAE Systems teaming up with a “consortium of government agencies led by Kent police”.

The Guardian report states that:

Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ­”routine” monitoring of antisocial motorists, ­protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.

The Home Office’s ‘Science and Innovation Strategy 2009–12’ [2], published last year, confirms that the UK government has been exploring the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as a policing “tool”…