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Saturday 30th January
Daily Mail – Council snoopers question five-year-olds on home life
But privacy campaigners last night condemned the forms. Alex Deane, of Big Brother Watch, described it as ‘an unbelievable intrusion into private life’.
He said: ‘The state doesn’t bring up children, parents do. There is an important distinction between teaching and nannying – or even bullying – and this steps way over the mark.’
Rochdale Observer - ‘Big Brother’ row over town’s CCTV cameras
But campaign group Big Brother Watch, which released the report after sending a Freedom of Information request to every council in the country, claims the network is expensive and ineffective.
Director Alex Deane said: “People in Rochdale will rightly be wondering why they’re being watched so much more than their neighbours in Bury and Oldham, and why their council decided to spend so much more of their taxpayer money on CCTV.
“The Metropolitan Police have said that only one crime is solved for every 1,000 cameras and there is no evidence to suggest that this kind of heavy surveillance is as good as spending the money getting officers back on the beat.”
Info4Security – The BSIA Briefing: January 2010
The subject of CCTV was recently discussed in a report by Big Brother Watch, an offshoot of the Taxpayers’ Alliance. In that document, CCTV comes under attack in the wake of concerns highlighted over the rise in the number of cameras that local authorities are now operating.
Friday 29th January
The Independent – Alex Deane: How the march of officialdom is destroying cherished ways of life
A man in Ayr is facing a criminal trial after he was “caught” blowing his nose behind the wheel of his car.
It’s symptomatic of life in this country today, which is fast becoming so illiberal that it’s almost as if normal life is unlawful. From councils conducting covert surveillance of residents to check their catchment area to bureaucrats fining families for the contents of their bins, this culture of overbearing bossiness is changing our national life, with a “chilling effect” on social interaction.
Alert Systems – Spending on CCTV is Worthwhile
Big Brother Watch questions whether or not CCTV camera systems are actually helping in the governments’ effort in crime prevention and even in solving different crimes, this question emanated from the fact that there are sometimes inaccuracies in the data being gathered by the CCTV camera systems
Thursday 28th January
City AM – Alex Deane: When you liberate your employees, productivity and profit will follow
WE LIVE in a society in which we’re always watched – not just by the state, but in the workplace, too.
Keen to cut costs and direct workforce activities with precision, employers create ever more laborious internal rules and procedures – failing to consider the loss of the worker’s time in complying with such processes.
Wednesday 27th January
Waltham Forest Guardian – CCTV locations move branded “publicity stunt”
But campaign group Big Brother Watch praised the scheme, saying it will encourage compliance rather than merely trying to catch motorists out.
Tuesday 26th January
Human Events – 1,043 Ways For Government to Enter Your Home
At Big Brother Watch, we conducted the first nationwide survey of the number of officers in each Local Authority holding the power to enter a private home or business without requiring a warrant or police escort
We found almost 15,000 such inspectors. About a quarter of councils didn’t respond at all or didn’t respond fully, so it’s reasonable to suppose that the true figure is somewhere near 20,000.
Monday 25th January
LBC 97.3 FM – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by Nick Ferrari on the Breakfast Show
Saturday 23rd January
Daily Telegraph – Revealed: Britons to be asked for NI number, date of birth and signature to get right to vote
Alex Deane, a spokesman from civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said: “We have managed to have elections in this country without surrendering this sort of information for hundreds of years.
“This is a very small issue in this country, and is driven mostly by postal voting. If you have to go on database to vote some people might say ‘forget it then’.”
Daily Mail – Britons will be ‘forced to hand over NI number, date of birth and signature to get voting rights’
Alex Deane, from civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said the risk of storing the extra information was unlikely to be worth it, given the small problem of electoral fraud.
‘Creating databases of our signatures, NI numbers and dates of birth has obvious risks for our privacy and identity security.
EMN News – Britain to adopt new voting policy in July
Friday 22nd January
BBC Radio West Midlands – Alex Deane interviewed by Ed Doolan
Thursday 21st January
Daily Telegraph – Magistrates’ details sent to prisoners
Alex Deane, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “This kind of error is unforgivably stupid. Not only is it irresponsible, but there’s no conceivable excuse for this kind of administrative incompetence.
“Even worse, it makes it less likely that people will serve as magistrates in the future.”
LBC 97.3FM – Alex Deane interviewed by Petrie Hoskin on Drivetime
Independent – Magistrates’ information sent to jail workshop
Alex Deane, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “Magistrates are decent enough to volunteer their time to do, for free, a job that we pay others to do.
“The criminal justice system depends on them and in return it ought to protect them.
Wednesday 20th January
Evening Standard – Big Benn feels the long arm of the law
FORMER Labour Cabinet minister Tony Benn has had a run-in with the police outside the Palace of Westminster.
Speaking alongside Tory MP David Davis at the launch of Big Brother Watch at the Vanilla nightclub, Benn recalled: “I was on my way to the House of Commons recently and outside, just walking down Parliament Street, I was stopped on the street by a woman police constable.
“She asked me my name and what I was doing. I asked why she wanted to know all this.
“She said Parliament was a very sensitive building and she was sure that I would understand that she was stopping me under the Terrorism Act.”
“That’s the first proper use of it I’ve heard of,” Davis retorted.
Standpoint – Not a TV show
Yesterday evening I went to the launch of a new organisation which has sprung up under the wing of the mighty Taxpayers Alliance. Big Brother Watch is headed up by Alex Deane and aims to log and protest against growing infringements on our liberties, small or otherwise.
Tuesday 19th January
BBC Radio Newcastle – Alex Deane interviewed by John Harle
Monday 18th January
Daily Telegraph – Airport body scanners could ‘breach human rights’
Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The EHRC is completely right to question the use of full-body scanners in airports.
“They are another intrusion into our privacy in the name of protection, yet we know that they are not fail-safe and could see airport authorities becoming reliant on a deeply flawed method of detection.”
Yorkshire Post – Minister challenged over airport scanners
Privacy campaigners welcomed the EHRC’s move.
Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, said the scanners are “another intrusion into our privacy in the name of protection, yet we know that they are not fail-safe.”
Press and Journal – Concern over use of body scanners
Thaindian News – UK full-body airport scanners raise human rights fears
Sunday 17th January
BBC News – Body scanners risk right to privacy, says UK watchdog
Privacy campaigners welcomed the EHRC’s move.
Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, said the government had not considered privacy in its “desperation to be seen to be doing something”.
“They are another intrusion into our privacy in the name of protection, yet we know that they are not fail-safe and could see airport authorities becoming reliant on a deeply flawed method of detection,” he added.
Sky News – Watchdog Warns About Airport Body Scanners
Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, added: “The EHRC is completely right to question the use of full-body scanners in airports. We know that they are not fail-safe and could see airport authorities becoming reliant on a deeply flawed method of detection.
BBC Politics Show South East – Alex Deane interviewed by Paul Seigert
Surrey Mirror – Council staff’s power of entry
Dozens of council ‘snoopers’ have the ability to enter a private premises without a warrant, a Mirror investigation has discovered.
The research details how a raft of intrusive laws has allowed council staff to barge into private premises uninvited. The power does not cover homes.
Alex Deane, Director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Councils are dishing out powers of entry to officers within their council for their own ease, without giving due thought to the public’s right to privacy and the potential for abuse.
Romford Recorder – Surprise of Town Hall entry powers
Out of all the councils in London, Havering has the eighth highest total of workers who can act in this way. The national average is only 47.
The figures came from campaign group Big Brother Watch.
Campaign director Dylan Sharpe criticised the high number of Havering Town Hall workers with the controversial power, saying it was unnecessary.
Friday 15th January
Romford and Havering Post – ‘Danger’ of Town Hall entry powers
MORE than 70 Havering Council workers are now able to enter our homes without a warrant.
The 76 staff have a ‘power of entry’ to walk uninvited into private properties – including our homes and workplaces – without a warrant or police escort.
The figures came from campaign group Big Brother Watch.
Lancashire Telegraph – 104 council staff have right to enter your home
THERE are 104 officers from Bury Council who can enter your home at any time without a warrant, it has been revealed.
The statistics were announced by a watchdog probing alleged “big brother” tactics used by local authorities.
Info4Security – CCTV is money well spent, says BSIA
In its report, published in December, Big Brother Watch – an offshoot of the Taxpayers’ Alliance – questions the effectiveness of CCTV in deterring or solving crimes. That’s an inaccurate assessment, according to Pauline Norstrom, BSIA CCTV Section chairman.
Norstrom said: “Thankfully the reality of CCTV in Britain is not the doom-laden picture that is painted by this report.”
Business 7 – Eclipse sets focus on high-tech CCTV sales
Figures released by the not-for-profit group, Big Brother Watch, suggests there are close to 60,000 CCTV cameras under the control of 418 local authorities across the UK.
Thursday 14th January
Ormskirk Advertiser – Ormskirk Advertiser readers send in their support for Aughton binman Albert Stewart
Alex Deane, director of the national pressure group Big Brother Watch, said: “This man is being punished for doing his job well and for using his common sense.
“The council should be ashamed – and they should put him back on the route he loves and knows so well.”
Wednesday 13th January
Daily Mail – Stop-and-search terror powers declared illegal by human rights court
Controversial anti-terror laws which let police stop and search without grounds for suspicion were yesterday ruled illegal by European judges.
Civil liberties campaigners heralded the human rights verdict as ‘a great day for freedom in Britain’.
Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Random stop and search powers were a shocking abuse of our historic, hard-won liberties.
‘What this tremendous judgment cannot undo is the embarrassment and anguish felt by the many people abused for no good reason under this now unlawful power.’
Daily Mail – Debate: Stop and search officers only have themselves to blame
Metro – Random stop and search is illegal
Daily Mail – Taxman using terror laws 15 times a day to spy on suspects
Alex Deane of the anti-surveillance pressure group Big Brother Watch said: ‘The widespread abuse of the law by councils has shown us how carefully we must look at the way these powers are used.
‘The extent of the use of RIPA by Revenue and Customs suggests that many individual taxpayers have been snooped on without their knowledge.’
He added: ‘Readers of the Mail who see this news today might rightly wonder who has been watching them.’
Tuesday 12th January
The Independent – Police stop and search powers ruled illegal
The verdict was hailed as a “great day for freedom in Britain” by Big Brother Watch.
The privacy campaign group’s director, Alex Deane, went on: “Random stop and search powers were a shocking abuse of our historic, hard-won liberties. The fact remains that no successful prosecutions for terrorism offences ever resulted from these draconian stop and search powers.
“However, what this tremendous judgment cannot undo is the embarrassment and anguish felt by the many people abused for no good reason under this now unlawful power.”
Coventry Telegraph – YouTube footage of fight outside Nuneaton nightclub
CCTV footage of a brawl outside a Nuneaton nightclub has become an internet hit after being leaked on to YouTube. The five minute clip – called Night Out In Nuneaton – has received more than 36,000 views and includes a fight as well as scores of police officers arresting a topless man for kicking a moving patrol car.
But Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said this footage should never have made it into the public domain.
24dash.com – UK police stop and search powers declared ‘illegal’
Sky Radio – Alex Deane interviewed about stop and search
TalkCarswell – A good day for liberty? Not really
The power to randomly stop and search someone has been ruled unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights. Should lovers of freedom rejoice at the news? Alex Deane, of Big Brother Watch fame, thinks so. I’m more doubtful.
Monday 11th January
Lancashire Evening Post – Town Hall snoopers free to search your home
More than 200 Town Hall workers across Lancashire have powers to enter people’s homes without a warrant and search for information, it has emerged.
Under various powers, a total of 234 council snoopers across central, west and north Lancashire can go into homes and businesses uninvited.
They have the right to do so under 418 separate state powers of entry in law, according to privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, which conducted the research.
Coventry Telegraph – Coventry named CCTV camera capital of the UK
CRITICS of the ‘Big Brother’ culture have revealed Coventry has the highest number of CCTV cameras in Great Britain when compared to cities and towns of similar sizes.
A study carried out by campaign group Big Brother Watch showed that in cities and towns with populations of about 300,000, the number of cameras in the city topped the list with 531 cameras – 1.8 cameras per 1,000 people.
Hampshire Chronicle – Powers given to snooping Hampshire council officials is ‘open to abuse’
DOES your pot plant have pests, is your fridge energy efficient, or are you practising unregulated hypnotism?
Almost 1,000 snooping council officers in Hampshire have the power to come into your home if they think the answer to any of those questions might be yes. The officials have the authority to enter properties at a moment’s notice without a warrant or police escort.
Campaigners Big Brother Watch argue the numbers show the citizens’ right to privacy has been completely undermined.
Sunday 10th January
Alex Deane interviewed by Roy Green on Corus
Andover Advertiser – Big Brother Watch’s power study
TEST Valley has more than 100 officers with the power to enter homes without a warrant or police escort.
Throughout the country 316 authorities have admitted they have a total of 14,793 officers who have the power to enter people’s homes based on more than 1,000 laws.
The information has come to light following a research by campaign group Big Brother Watch, which argues that the results show the citizens’ rights to privacy has been undermined.
Friday 8th January
Daily Mail – Binman forced out by council ‘for picking up too much rubbish’
Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This case is a sad indictment of Britain.
‘A man who has helped foster a nicer environment in his area is punished because the council has enforced pointless, pathetic rules designed to hit the law-abiding citizen in the pocket.’
Ilford Recorder – Alarm over ‘snooping powers’
The 56 officers equipped with the powers compares with a local authority average across the country of 47, figures compiled by campaign group Big Brother Watch reveal.
Dylan Sharpe, the group’s campaign director, said: “The rising number of local council inspectors able to enter private property is a real cause for concern.
“These officers are unlikely to have had the sort of training necessary for the task and the whole issue represents an unnecessary and worrying intrusion on the public’s right to privacy.”
Clacton Gazette – Double check all visitors, elderly warned
ELDERLY residents are being urged to double check all visitors following the revelation more than 180 council staff across Essex have the power to enter homes without a warrant.
Paul Teague, Essex Police watch co-ordinator for Tendring, said bogus callers could take advantage of the situation to get into peoples homes.
Last week figures revealed by civil liberty campaign group Big Brother Watch revealed 186 council inspectors can enter private property without a warrant or police escort.
Yorkshire Post – Watching them watching you: The amazing dramas captured on Leeds CCTV
Research published last month revealed there are nearly 3,000 cameras watching the public in the Yorkshire region. Hull City Council has installed 524 cameras, the most of any authority in England. Leeds has 385, while Sheffield has 377 - Data from Big Brother Watch.
Thursday 7th January
Irish Times – More Britons caught on camera by CCTV – but fewer criminals
Covert surveillance is widespread and popular in Britain, but police statistics call into question CCTV’s effectiveness
THE OUTER Hebrides in Scotland are somewhere one might think one would go for privacy, but the 26,000 people who live there are among the most-watched by CCTV cameras anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Opponents of CCTV, such as Big Brother Watch, argue that the £250 million spent running the systems could be better spent, and that the images produced by the cameras are often so poor as to be unusable in court.
Wednesday 6th January
Daily Telegraph – Foreign footballers must carry ID cards
Alex Deane, director of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, added: “It is wrong to force people to give up details of their most private, personal information.
“When it’s someone high-profile, there is an added danger of that material being sold on.”
Cumbernauld News – Our busybody officials: Survey claims Cumbernauld and Kilsyth are part of a ‘Big Brother’ state
NORTH Lanarkshire has come FOURTH out of more than 300 local authorities in a UK-wide survey of how many staff from each council can search your home or workplace without a warrant or police escort.
The information has come from a civil liberties group which wants to highlight privacy issues – but NLC has blasted the ‘Barging In’ study as “scaremongering” and says it is solely aimed at causing unnecessary worry and distress to the public.
Big Brother Watch, the new campaign from the founders of the influential TaxPayers’ Alliance, aims to fight intrusions on privacy and protecting liberties.
Rochdale Online – CCTV isn’t the answer, says campaign group
New research has shown that the number of CCTV cameras controlled by local councils has tripled nationally in the last 10 years from 21,000 to 60,000.
The research conducted by Big Brother Watch, a new campaign fighting intrusions on privacy and protecting liberties, shows Rochdale has 170 CCTV cameras, which works out at 0.8 per 1,000 people for its 205,357 strong population.
Leith FM – Alex Deane interviewed by Graeme Logan
BBC Radio 5Live – Alex Deane interviewed by Matthew Bannister
Spy Review – British People Under Increasing Scrutiny, But CCTV Footage Lacking Quality
Tuesday 5th January
Daily Telegraph – Number of crimes caught on CCTV falls by 70 per cent, Metropolitan Police admits
Campaigners suggested that this change meant that the effectiveness of CCTV as a crime fighting tool might have been exaggerated by the previous figures.
Last month it emerged that the number of town hall-controlled Big Brother CCTV cameras has trebled in a decade. There are now 60,000 cameras trained on members of the public by council snoopers – one for every 1,000 people in the UK.
Alexander Deane, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “It’s right to say that the experiment with CCTV has failed. They can’t have it both ways. Either the figures reflect a fall or they were wrong in the first place.”
LBC 97.3 FM – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by James Whale on Drivetime
Alex Deane addresses Bury St Edmunds Rotary Club
Public Service – One in eight crimes spotted by CCTV
Evening Standard – Huge drop in crimes solved by costly CCTV
But Alexander Deane, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “It’s right to say that the experiment with CCTV has failed. They can’t have it both ways. Either the figures reflect a fall or they were wrong in the first place. Crimes that might have been solved by conventional methods go unsolved as a result.”
Alex Deane speaks at Learning to Earn training event
SFS Group – Effectiveness of cctv called into question
The Newcastle Journal – Councils using ‘snooping’ powers to crack down on offenders
Campaign group Big Brother Watch has also been critical of the use of undercover snooping.
Campaign director Dylan Sharpe said: “These figures serve to highlight the mess that local councils are getting into when it comes to using Ripa. The abuse of Ripa is responsible for a major breakdown in trust between the public and their local councils, which won’t be solved until these powers are given a massive overhaul.”
Monday 4th January
Cambridge Times – South Cambs residents the least watched in the country
RESIDENTS of South Cambridgeshire are among the least watched in the country, with just eight public-facing closed circuit television cameras operated by the district council – 0.1 cameras for every 1,000 of the daytime population – according to a national campaign group.
Figures released by the campaign group Big Brother Watch show that Huntingdonshire has proportionately seven times as many, with HDC’s 114 cameras representing 0.7 per 1,000 population.
Daily Gazette – Big Brother Colchester: Spy cameras treble over past decade
Burnley Express – Wigan’s very own Big Brother
Garstang Courier – City CCTV cameras under investigation
BBC Radio Essex – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by Ray Clark on the Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Northampton – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by Joe Pignatiello on the Breakfast Show
The Hunts Post – South Cambs residents the least watched in the country
Blackpool Gazette – City CCTV cameras under investigation
Wigan Today – Wigan’s very own Big Brother
Big Brother is definitely watching you – Wigan has the second highest number of CCTV cameras in Great Britain when compared to towns of similar sizes.
A study, carried out by non-partisan campaign group Big Brother Watch, showed that in towns and cities with populations of about 300,000, only Coventry, with 531, had more cameras than Wigan.
Wigan Council runs 446 CCTV cameras, covering a population of 301,415.
Lancashire Evening Post – City CCTV cameras under investigation
Town Hall chiefs have set up a “crime and disorder group” made up of councillors to see whether the city has effective CCTV.
Currently, the city has 136 cameras in public places, according to recent figures from pressure group Big Brother Watch.
Oldham Evening Chronicle – CCTV isn’t working says campaign group
Saturday 2nd January
Ipswich Evening Star – Councils ‘selling names and addresses’
Last night, Alex Deane, the director of Big Brother Watch, said: “I think this is an appalling abuse of council powers. We all think that we can trust the council with our basic electoral data.”
“Nobody thinks that when they tell the council their personal details that these details are going to be sold on. There has never been any warning to anyone that this information would be sold for profit by these councils.”
Friday 1st January
Daily Telegraph – Police officers ‘prefer warmth of police station to catching criminals’
Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, a civil liberties campaign group, said: “There is a culture of laziness among many of today’s police. There is a common belief that police would rather chase targets than criminals.”
BBC Radio 5Live – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by Nick Ravenscroft
Ipswich Evening Star – Officials given powers to enter homes
Details revealed today by Big Brother Watch, a new campaign from the founders of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, show that thousands of council officers across the country can enter properties without requiring a warrant or police escort.
However, Ipswich Borough Council was one of 115 local councils that either refused or failed to respond to the Freedom of Information request by Big Brother Watch.