Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to hide

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to hide

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to hide

Britain is to become
the first country in the world where the
movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new
national surveillance system will hold the records for at least
two years. Using a network of cameras that can automatically read
every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database
of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can
analyze any journey a driver has made over several years. The
network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which
are being converted to read number plates automatically night and
day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as
well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts.

Starting this year, a central database installed alongside the
Police National Computer in Hendon, north London, will store the
details of 35 million number-plate "reads" per day. These will
include time, date and precise location, with camera sites
monitored by global positioning satellites. Already there are
plans to extend the database by increasing the storage period to
five years and by linking thousands of additional cameras so that
details of up to 100 million number plates can be fed each day
into the central databank.

Senior police officers have described the surveillance network
as possibly the biggest advance in the technology of crime
detection and prevention since the introduction of DNA
fingerprinting. But others concerned about civil liberties will
be worried that the movements of millions of law-abiding people
will soon be routinely recorded and kept on a central computer
database for years.

Steve Connor, Independent News
UK