Facial recognition CCTV option to keep Kingston safe

This Is Local London: Facial recognition CCTV option to keep Kingston safe Facial recognition CCTV option to keep Kingston safe

Facial recognition CCTV is being looked at in a bid to keep Kingston town centre safe.

The plans, which are in the very early stages, were discussed at a recent meeting with Pubwatch, police, the council and Kingston First.

ID scanners and thumb printing equipment that would record drinkers' details on their first visit were also discussed.

Mark Byford, manager of McClusky's and chairman of Kingston Pubwatch, said the CCTV would not just monitor clubbers, but the town centre as a whole, to prevent crimes such as terrorism.

However, civil liberties group Big Brother Watch voiced concern about the use of extra CCTV.

A spokesman said: "This proposal goes way too far.

"People should be able to go out for an evening without being expected to hand over sensitive personal information to bouncers.

"Facial recognition software and fingerprint scanners should only be used by trained and accountable security professionals, not publicans."

However, Mr Byford said: "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about.

"It won't solve every problem there is, but it's another tool in our box to keep trouble-makers out of the town. I think the benefits outweigh the negatives.

"The ID scanners will mean we know who is in the premises, and police will have a record of who is in there so we can release their information if something happens or they do something naughty.

"At the moment, it is early stages. We've had one meeting and it's looking at the long-term, so I'm not sure how it will all work."

Kingston First's business crime reduction manager Paul Riordan checked out the thumb print technology with Inspector Gary Taylor at Scannet's headquarters in Canary Wharf.

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He said there were many questions to answer, such as whether it would work with big clubs and if there were good working examples, before they could go ahead.

Initiatives already in use are drug swabbing, the Behave or be Banned scheme, free bag drops for girls' handbags and the town link radio.

Officers and sniffer dogs helped arrest three people for possession of class A drugs in Kingston town centre on February 11 as part of Pubwatch.

One person was also arrested for class B possession and four cannabis warnings were issued.

What do you think of the proposals? Is the scheme a step too far, or should we welcome any moves to help keep us safe? Use the form below to let us know...

Comments (6)

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9:45am Fri 25 Feb 11

Angela M says...

I agree with Mr Byford - if you have nothing to hide you don't have to worry. I'm amused by the conspiracy-theorists who won't even register their Oyster cards because "the government can track them". Every time you enter a shop, a bus station, a club, the street(!) you will be on camera - it's for our safety, not to criminalise us.
I agree with Mr Byford - if you have nothing to hide you don't have to worry. I'm amused by the conspiracy-theorists who won't even register their Oyster cards because "the government can track them". Every time you enter a shop, a bus station, a club, the street(!) you will be on camera - it's for our safety, not to criminalise us. Angela M
  • Score: 0

11:58am Fri 25 Feb 11

JPR says...

I came in this country because it was the last one to repect privacy. Now I'm old near death but I've to think to go elsewhere, to many things are getting mad and the UK is no more.
I came in this country because it was the last one to repect privacy. Now I'm old near death but I've to think to go elsewhere, to many things are getting mad and the UK is no more. JPR
  • Score: 0

1:00am Mon 28 Feb 11

duhvdhvrui says...

This is a horrible proposal, and people like Angela enable our civil liberties to be thrown out by those interested in political power all in the name of perceived security.

Angela, I take it, as you have nothing to hide, you have no curtains in your bedroom? Nothing to hide nothing to fear, etc.. And because you are such an upstanding citizen, that you have your bank statements delivered on postcards rather than in envelopes? If you are not laundering money, then you have nothing to hide, remember.

OK, those examples are hyperbolic, but tolerance to privacy invasion varies from person to person. Some people are happy to walk around totally naked (eg naturists), though the vast majority of us consider our privates to be exactly that. Would you be happy for us to all have to walk around naked for our safety? No concealed weapons, after all.

Privacy is very important, and one of the biggest safeguards we have against an over bearing state (or any powerful group, like religions, corporations, unions, etc.).

There is no effective difference between cameras/computers being able to identify us by our faces using CCTV and giving law enforcement the powers to demand to see state-issued papers on demand when in public.

Hundreds of thousands of people laid down their lives in WWII to fight against the ideas of over bearing government and fascism. The removal of civil liberties in Germany enabled the Nazis to wage wars of aggression and implement their industrialised mass-murder.

So please bear in mind, when you are ignorantly willing to give up your civil liberties, you are willing to give up everyone else's too.
This is a horrible proposal, and people like Angela enable our civil liberties to be thrown out by those interested in political power all in the name of perceived security. Angela, I take it, as you have nothing to hide, you have no curtains in your bedroom? Nothing to hide nothing to fear, etc.. And because you are such an upstanding citizen, that you have your bank statements delivered on postcards rather than in envelopes? If you are not laundering money, then you have nothing to hide, remember. OK, those examples are hyperbolic, but tolerance to privacy invasion varies from person to person. Some people are happy to walk around totally naked (eg naturists), though the vast majority of us consider our privates to be exactly that. Would you be happy for us to all have to walk around naked for our safety? No concealed weapons, after all. Privacy is very important, and one of the biggest safeguards we have against an over bearing state (or any powerful group, like religions, corporations, unions, etc.). There is no effective difference between cameras/computers being able to identify us by our faces using CCTV and giving law enforcement the powers to demand to see state-issued papers on demand when in public. Hundreds of thousands of people laid down their lives in WWII to fight against the ideas of over bearing government and fascism. The removal of civil liberties in Germany enabled the Nazis to wage wars of aggression and implement their industrialised mass-murder. So please bear in mind, when you are ignorantly willing to give up your civil liberties, you are willing to give up everyone else's too. duhvdhvrui
  • Score: 0

10:12am Tue 1 Mar 11

Angela M says...

I'm not a politician or a campaigner, so my own opinions are unlikely to affect the number of public security cameras.

And no - I don't always close the curtains, and I wouldn't care if the postman knew how much I have in my account because the answer is 'not much'! What little I do have is precious to me, and if I was to get mugged in the street I would feel safer in the knowledge that the mugger has been caught on 20 cameras and is therefore more likely to be caught and brought to justice, and there is a much greater chance of my possessions being returned. I think we're a long way from '1984'.
I'm not a politician or a campaigner, so my own opinions are unlikely to affect the number of public security cameras. And no - I don't always close the curtains, and I wouldn't care if the postman knew how much I have in my account because the answer is 'not much'! What little I do have is precious to me, and if I was to get mugged in the street I would feel safer in the knowledge that the mugger has been caught on 20 cameras and is therefore more likely to be caught and brought to justice, and there is a much greater chance of my possessions being returned. I think we're a long way from '1984'. Angela M
  • Score: 0

5:45am Wed 2 Mar 11

duhvdhvrui says...

Nice to see you utterly ignore that I pointed out that the machines will be able to unique recognise all individuals as they pass in front of any cameras connected up. Cross reference the faces with the NIR, passport, police, or driving licence, photograph databases and soon identifying the movements of the majority of individuals will be possible.

.

To be honest, why do you think such exacting standards were brought in on things like passport photographs? Under the guise of terrorism, exactly the same justification Gadaffi is using in Libya. Anyway, the photo standards are to aid with the recognition of details of our faces by computers. The ratio of distances between points on our faces are nearing unique, and so like fingerprints we can be uniquely identified.

.

Technology like this is much more invasive than giving the police the equivalent powers of "papieren bitte". At least in East Germany you could tell if you were being followed!

.

The thing is, street muggings are usually committed by people who are desperate. They will not be concerned about being seen by cameras, and so you would still end up getting mugged and possibly getting harmed even if this system is in place.

.

If you are concerned about street crime, reducing the reasons why people do it would be more effective, and would protect all our civil liberties. Liberties like protest, could you imagine what Gadaffi would use a facial recognition system like this for? And our wonderful politicians will help sell systems like it. I digress, but legalising drugs would solve so much street crime. Addicts could be provided with clean drugs, as regularly as a doctor advises to help them quit, and it would take all the money out of the hands of the black market. Kids and young people need things to keep them occupied, and the wealth divisions in society need reducing.

.

But none of those things are favoured by the many groups that run the country, so we see yet more Orwellian projects, and lap-dogs to applaud them.
Nice to see you utterly ignore that I pointed out that the machines will be able to unique recognise all individuals as they pass in front of any cameras connected up. Cross reference the faces with the NIR, passport, police, or driving licence, photograph databases and soon identifying the movements of the majority of individuals will be possible. . To be honest, why do you think such exacting standards were brought in on things like passport photographs? Under the guise of terrorism, exactly the same justification Gadaffi is using in Libya. Anyway, the photo standards are to aid with the recognition of details of our faces by computers. The ratio of distances between points on our faces are nearing unique, and so like fingerprints we can be uniquely identified. . Technology like this is much more invasive than giving the police the equivalent powers of "papieren bitte". At least in East Germany you could tell if you were being followed! . The thing is, street muggings are usually committed by people who are desperate. They will not be concerned about being seen by cameras, and so you would still end up getting mugged and possibly getting harmed even if this system is in place. . If you are concerned about street crime, reducing the reasons why people do it would be more effective, and would protect all our civil liberties. Liberties like protest, could you imagine what Gadaffi would use a facial recognition system like this for? And our wonderful politicians will help sell systems like it. I digress, but legalising drugs would solve so much street crime. Addicts could be provided with clean drugs, as regularly as a doctor advises to help them quit, and it would take all the money out of the hands of the black market. Kids and young people need things to keep them occupied, and the wealth divisions in society need reducing. . But none of those things are favoured by the many groups that run the country, so we see yet more Orwellian projects, and lap-dogs to applaud them. duhvdhvrui
  • Score: 0

11:04am Thu 3 Mar 11

Angela M says...

Drugs are still harmful to mental health in many cases, so legalising them is not a good option.

I didn't "utterly ignore" anything. If I get mugged, at least the assailant could be identified by facial recognition and taken off the streets - thus saving other potential victims from a similar experience.

I'm going to go and put on my tin foil hat...
Drugs are still harmful to mental health in many cases, so legalising them is not a good option. I didn't "utterly ignore" anything. If I get mugged, at least the assailant could be identified by facial recognition and taken off the streets - thus saving other potential victims from a similar experience. I'm going to go and put on my tin foil hat... Angela M
  • Score: 0

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