Aug 302010
 
 August 30, 2010  Non-U.S., Surveillance

Jack Doyle and Paul Bentley report:

Police have ordered a CCTV blitz on dog walkers who let their animals foul the streets, it emerged last night.

Camera operators have been instructed to watch for anyone walking their pet in case they do not clean up after them.

Those caught failing to do so will be tracked down and hit with an on-the-spot fine.

Civil liberties groups and residents attacked the action by Surrey Police, calling it intrusive and a waste of time and money.

They said officers should be focused on cutting crimes such as burglary instead of snooping on dog walkers.

However other forces, including the Metropolitan Police, last night said they could follow Surrey’s lead.

Read more in The Daily Mail. Note that the police defend this application of CCTV by pointing to residents’ complaints:

Surrey Police defended the crackdown. Sergeant Karen Coyne said: ‘The primary objective of CCTV in Merstham remains detecting crimes such as theft, burglary and antisocial behaviour.

‘However residents had repeatedly complained about dog fouling. We wouldn’t do this if local people had not asked us to.’

First, even if the residents complained about the dog poo, that doesn’t translate into a request for CCTV surveillance expansion. Second, I wouldn’t care how many people even specifically requested CCTV surveillance to address the problem. Public sentiment is not a justification for violating the human rights of citizens to be free of surveillance for such Mickey Mouse use. The U.K. continually wanders farther and farther away from the original purpose of surveillance cameras.

Thanks to the reader who sent in this link.

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