Talking CCTV Scheme: Big Brother Says 'Stop Picking Your Nose Now, Robert'

In an attempt to make its people behave better on the streets, the British Government is to roll out a talking CCTV camera scheme. The (not-so-)good citizens of the northern town of Middlesbrough have already been subjected to the idea, which is to stick a loudhailer on top of various CCTV cameras and get control center staff to tick off unsavory members of society who are caught indulging in anti-social behavior. This can be anything from littering the streets, drunk and disorderly behavior, fighting and (probably) doing The Sex with that girl you picked up in your local "niterie" half an hour ago.

With 4.2 million CCTV cameras on its streets, Britain is the surveillance capital of the world. But does the government really think that the scheme will work? Home Secretary John Reid thinks so, and revealed that competitions were being held at local schools for children to become the voice of Big Brother. "By funding and supporting these local schemes, the government is encouraging children to send this clear message to grown-ups: act anti-socially and you will face the shame of being publicly embarrassed."

Not everyone is so fond of the idea, however. "Apart from being absurd, I think it's rather sad that we should have faceless cameras barking at us on orders from high," said Steve Hills, an anti-surveillance campaigner. "Who sets these cameras up?" The man, Steve, the man.

'Talking' CCTV camera scheme expanding [BBC News]