Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Have you washed your hands, Tompkins?" CCTV in schools

Big Brother Watch received a lot of publicity this morning for its report Class of 1984: The extent of CCTV in secondary schools and academies.

That link will take you to the full report, and there is also an article about it on the Big Brother Watch website:
This report highlights an issue that has not been subject to any real public debate and we hope by highlighting the scale of the situation a proper debate can now take place about not only how to regulate CCTV, but also why surveillance continues to increase unchecked when there is still no academic research that suggests it is having a positive impact. 
We make three key recommendations in the report, which are: 
- The Home Office code of practice for CCTV cameras should apply to all publicly funded bodies 
- The Surveillance Camera Commissioner must have the power to enforce the code of practice and penalties for breaching the code must be available 
- The Government should commission an independent review of CCTV use in schools to explore the evidential basis upon which cameras have been installed. This should include ensuring any school using CCTV has appropriate policies in place so teachers and parents are fully aware of why surveillance is being used, when footage can be viewed and by who. 
The surveillance experiment of the past twenty years has failed to reduce crime or improve public safety. As schoolchildren across the country are now expected to accept surveillance for the formative years of their education, it is time for a different approach.

No comments: