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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Big Brother Leeds

ANPR Cameras Leeds
Picture of ANPR Cameras in Headingley Leeds.

These ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras are on a tall post outside the the building that was the Elinor Lupton Centre on Headingley Lane the A660.

Between the council and the police there are now I believe a ring of these cameras monitoring vehicles across Leeds. There are another pair just outside Wilkinsons at the Arndale centre in Headingley. Two more are just up from the former Lounge Cinema on North Lane a short walk from the previous cameras.

These ANPR cameras and system are supplied by a company called CitySync and they describe this sector as Homeland Security. Now whilst I generally would class myself as a supporter of the police and understand the need to keep up with criminals I suspect that the STASI in the former East Germany would have loved this system. Yes I do think the police introduced these to help catch criminals but the potential to use this technology for mass surveillance of ordinary people just going about their daily lives is too great and also I think too tempting for the politicians.

If you think I exaggerate the possible use of this system I suggest you read The Dying Light by novelist Henry Porter. I read this book a couple of weeks back having borrowed it from the public library.

I think that these ANPR cameras could also have the facility for monitoring the average speed of a vehicle too.

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