The Guardian carried a letter from Nick Gibson who told how he had taken over a pub in Islington, London, and had to apply for a new licence, which required the approval of a number of organisations, including the police.
I was stunned," he wrote, "to find that the police were prepared to approve – ie not fight – our licence on condition that we installed CCTV capturing the head and shoulders of everyone coming into the pub, to be made available
to them on request.
Big Brother CCTV cameras are to be fitted inside shops and supermarkets on the orders of the state to keep track on anybody buying alcohol.
A law is being quietly pushed through Parliament giving councils the power to order licensed premises to fit the surveillance cameras. Pubs will also be covered.
The footage of people innocently buying a bottle of wine in a shop or a pint of beer in a bar must be stored for at least 60 days, and be handed over to the police on demand.
The measures form part of the Policing and Crime Bill, but have not been highlighted by Ministers. Under a code of conduct, which will be enforced by the Bill, any business that intends to sell alcohol will have to agree to install the cameras.
Phil Booth, of the NO2ID privacy campaign, said: We are already a country with more CCTV cameras than anywhere else in the civilised world, but this law is systemising the surveillance of a nation. People will be treated like suspects wherever
Earlier this week, the Mail revealed how police were warning pubs they would not support their licensing applications unless they agreed to train the intrusive cameras on their customers.
The first blanket policy has been introduced in the London borough of Islington, where all applicants wanting a licence to sell alcohol are being told they must fit CCTV.
Other forces are adopting similar tactics. But the planned new law goes much further, as it will allow councils – which ultimately hand out all licences – to insist on the CCTV cameras.
Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, who is piloting the CCTV measure through the Commons, recently admitted that he couldn't remember the last time he was in a pub.
Mark Hastings, spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association, said: It's an extraordinary admission from someone who is proposing measures that, on the Government's own admission, will cost the pub sector hundreds of millions of pounds a
year. It shows how disconnected he is from the realities of what it's like trying to stay in business in the current environment.
Comment: Grade 1 Listed Prodnoses
23rd February 2009. Thanks to Alan
Haven't these absurd prodnoses got anything better to do?
What about the many pubs which are listed buildings, maybe unchanged for a century or more, that have got to have these things installed? Their appearance could be ruined.