Now, this is really worrying:
Councils in London, West Yorkshire, Northumberland and Dundee are supplying householders with covert spy cameras so that they can amass evidence against nuisance neighbours. The devices can be hidden in pot plants, between the covers of books on windowsills facing the street or squeezed between door frames and brickwork. They provide 24-hour surveillance to capture evidence of vandalism, threatening behaviour or abuse.
Some can also be accessed remotely by the councils’ antisocial behaviour taskforces so they can take immediate action or alert the police.
Darren Kennedy, community safety officer at Kirklees council, has installed more than 20 spy cameras in houses and other locations since April. His most ingenious hiding place for a camera was in a rockery (the Brits are experts in spy rocks!)
“We built a system which fits into a fake rock. It could contain a camera, a battery and a radio link or it could feature several cameras, a hard disk and a remote access satellite system. You drop the rock and away you go,” said Mr Kennedy.
Dundee city council also has a team of professional witnesses who can be called to observe antisocial behaviour and then testify in court, which many residents are afraid to do.
Via del.icio.us/foe 24dash.
Image showing a camera hidden in an oil collecting canister, from the Stasi Museum in Berlin.