UK plans to put X-ray cameras on lampposts

Airport-style x-ray cameras, which can see through clothes, could be installed on street lampposts in a bid to combat terrorism, it was claimed on January 29, 2007.

The measure was, apparently, suggested in a memo sent to one of Tony Blair's working groups at the Cabinet Office, so the Sun “newspaper” has reported.

This move comes amid growing concern about Britain's "surveillance society" and I think one can only ask “What next?”.

The Home Office memo, to the Prime Minister's working group on security, crime and justice, reportedly said: "Street furniture could routinely house detection systems that would indicate the likely presence of a gun, for example.'”

The Government is increasingly finding new ways of using “street furniture” for security.

“Architectural security improvements have been designed carefully on the basis of specific architectural advice to improve security measures in a widespread way,” the Cabinet Office admitted last week.

So, in other words, we must assume that all lampposts, benches, litter bins (where there are any), and probably even walls, etc. could have “security implements” embedded.

Apparently both the Cabinet Office and the Home Office refused to comment on the memo. Surprise, not.

Whether the “X-ray” they are talking about is actual “X-ray” but more like so-called “back scatter”, of the same kind that is being used on airports and even on many of the mainline railroad stations in the UK nowadays.

People who walk about with open eyes can see the devices that are already found on lampposts, from rather sophisticated and concealed CCTV surveillance cameras, microphones, and other gadgets attached. All that is left to ask is, as I already did “what next?”.

M V Smith, January 30, 2007