Widespread use of surveillance cameras in UK schools raises concerns
Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:23PM
Concerns have been raised over the widespread use of surveillance cameras in thousands of schools across the UK. CCTV equipment has been placed in the toilets and changing areas in secondary schools and academies amidst fears of bullying and anti-social behavior by students. The revelations come after a damning report by a civil liberties organization revealed that over 100,000 CCTV cameras were currently in use.Britain’s reputation as a surveillance state has been further enhanced amidst the revelation that thousands of students have been monitored in areas formerly considered out-of-bounds for CCTV activity. Using the Freedom of Information Act, civil liberties organization Big Brother Watch contacted thousands of schools across the UK. The level and scope of CCTV use uncovered was shocking. For the research, data was gathered Data from over 2000 schools across Britain100,000 CCTV cameras are operational in schoolsOver 200 had cameras in toilets and changing areas There is already research that shows Britain is one of the most surveiled countries on earth. From where I’m standing it’s very easy to see evidence of that but CCTVs in crime hotspots are one thing. CCTVs in places where children have an expectation of privacy is another matter entirely. In response to the claims that the CCTV was potentially negative on the well-being of students, the Home Office has said there will be a strict code of conduct and a new Surveillance Camera Commissioner.This has not proved far reaching enough for some campaigners. The widespread introduction of CCTV over the past 20 years has so far failed to reduce crime, tackle anti-social behavior or improve public safety. With the revelation that even school toilets and changing room are no longer considered private spaces, the debate on Britain’s love affair with CCTV is bound to be reignited.