Paranoia Rules OK!

All those who would support CCTV cameras filming your bedroom window, please raise your hands! Because Newry & Mourne Council has a fabulous apartment they have no problem filming, rejecting the resident’s complaint about said camera on Monday. Lawrence O’Keefe said, “I’ve been in this apartment for three years now … But now I am stressed, I can’t sleep. I can’t even get out of the shower or get dressed without wondering if I am being watched.” CCTV Cameras started filming his bedroom window in March, and became officially activated on April 8th. Newry & Mourne Council have no sympathy, saying his is the only complaint and “If we receive one complaint about each of the 20 cameras where do we move them?”, and claiming that as there is special software that blocks out windows, Mr O’Keefe shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Nothing mentioned about the damaging psychological effect of the paranoia inducing camera, nor the drop in property value that a camera trained on the bedroom 24/7 would have. Would you like to have a public camera filming your bedroom window? Is Big Brother really without a heart?

  • Thor’s Spammer

    “there is special software that blocks out windows”

    you could get a tenner off Private Eye for that one rusty…….

  • cut the bull

    If this resident was to walk about the apartment in the nip, would who ever is monitoring this camera have cause for complaint?

    Would such an action be legal, as it would all in the privacy of his own home?

    Answers on a postcard and the best one wins a Newcastle rock.

  • cut the bull

    A fella told me a story once, he got the shock of his life when city bus introduced a new fleet of double decker buses.

    The fella and his girl friend where in the middle of mad passionate love making, when one of the newly introduced double decker’s pulled up at the bus stop outside his house.

    As he looked out he seen two old ladies who were smiling from ear to ear.

  • Rory

    I should be careful about letting this story get around. What with the obsession that the young wans have these days about disporting themselves before a camera at every available opportunity they will all start demanding to have a CCTV outside their windows. Think what this will do to the rates.

  • Jamie Gargoyle

    He could always try the Mark Thomas approach – he’s entitled to request a copy of any CCTV with him on it for a flat fee of £10. They can’t realistically say “we can’t find any footage with you in it” given the location of the camera, and when he requests this every few months they’ll soon realise that placing the camera in a more sensible / resident-sensitive place (or just getting rid of it) will be much more affordable that constantly editing clips of him together for the latest video/DVD they have to supply him…

    ( http://www.markthomasinfo.com/info/series5.asp )

  • there is special software that blocks out windows

    Simple way to test that theory is to have a good flash at the window and see if the peelers come knocking. If they do, sue the council for lying!

  • cut the bull

    You could try to imagine living like this fella with a CCTV camera which has veiw of your bed room.

    No wonder he’s pissed off he may be singing something like this,

    This Warrenpoint is colder now, I think it’s sick of us
    It’s time to make our move, I’m the CCTV camera pole will the rust

    I’ve got my heart set on anywhere but here
    I’m staring down myself, counting up the years
    Steady hands, just take the wheel…
    And every glance is killing me
    Time to make one last appeal… for the private life I lead

    The camera Stops and stares

    I’m not wearing any under wear
    Yeah I know that I get really scared
    But I’ve become what I can’t be, oh
    Stop and stare
    You start to wonder why the cameras ‘here’ not there

    And you’d give anything to get what’s fair
    But fair ain’t what the Council really need
    Oh, can u see what I see
    The camera’s trying to pan back, all my senses push
    I’m trying to hide the bags, I never thought I could…
    Steady feet, don’t fail me now
    Gonna run till you can’t walk
    But something pulls the focus out
    And I’m standing down…

    The cameras Stops and stares

    I’m not wearing any under wear
    Yeah I know that I get really scared
    But I’ve become what I can’t be, oh
    Stop and stare
    You start to wonder why the camera’s here not there

    And you’d give anything to get what’s fair
    But fair ain’t what you really need
    Oh, you don’t need
    What u need, what u need…

    The camera Stops and stares

    I’m not wearing any under wear
    Yeah I know that I get really scared
    But I’ve become what I can’t be
    Oh, do u see what I see…

  • cynic

    Living in Warrenpoint would make you depressed anyway … in context, whats one little camera?

  • cut the bull

    Warrenpoint is a beautiful town lots of local shops and nestled between the Mourne mountains and Carlingford Lough.

  • Sorley

    Or he could you know….buy some blinds.

  • A little poem by Joe McK in 1915 – select the large size for easier reading:

    A Voice From Over The Square [jpg image]

  • Peter Brown

    I’ve seen the software in question demoed and it really does work if programmed correctly – the windows of houses are all blanked out…

  • Blanking out software. It can also track horizontal jogging: “When movement appears, such as a vehicle or individual, the camera will lock onto the object and track it until the object moves out of the camera’s viewing capability.”

  • Comrade Stalin

    Software which does image processing like that is getting cleverer as time goes on, but it isn’t perfect. It may appear to work nicely on the mockup demo at a trade show, but using it accurately in the field is a different matter.

    I couldn’t even start to think of how you would teach a computer how to recognize a window.

  • Gregory

    I initiated a CCTV case that went to the Supreme Court of the Uhited States.

    I get a lot of complaints, problem here, is that one set of half-educated eejits is as cracker as the other.

    the SDLP complain about the SELB dumping documents, front page of the Irish News has a clatter of SDLP politicians reading them!

    They’re hicks, and they just can’t help being gormless hicks.

    ‘Police to investigate school changing-room camera

    THE police are to contact the Abbey Grammar School in Newry in relation to the placing of a secret camera in students’ changing rooms, it was confirmed this week.’

    http://archives.tcm.ie/newrydemocrat/2005/05/18/story4403.asp

    I get a mention pleading for anity with no more success than the current case.

    One wants to grab them by the ears, tell them they’re stupid hicks, slap their gob and hope they wise-up.

    ECHR prevents that sadly.

    G.

  • With a name like Lawrence O’Keefe (sounds very Southern anti Cromwellian to me), he should be cctv’d. I think it is funny and cute and maybe even a tourist attraction. He should feel prpud that the Council get off on watching him get off.

  • me

    THE police are to contact the Abbey Grammar School in Newry in relation to the placing of a secret camera in students’ changing rooms, it was confirmed this week.’

    Who says the Christian Brothers can’t move with the times?!

  • Gregory

    I’m thinking of joining SF so I can avoid the harassment I get from the Brit spooks.

    As for that school.

    The police were furious, they back-tracked on the promise to act, they went bonkers when they spotted a UUP presser with the word intervene in it,

    more likely ‘a Catholic’ with some rank in our faith, i.e. the hierachy spotted it, and called the PSNI and tried to out-bid the UUP.

    So PSNI call me to protest, that there is a presser using the word ‘intervene’. I told them that if ‘intervene’ didn’t happen I was off to see Nuala O’Loan and hung up.

    It is one of the reasons my hotels are raided as I criss-cross England, I don’t get Jonathan Powell waiting for me with a friendly smile.

    ‘Senior officers have asked lawyers to confirm whether an investigation can be started.’

    UUP demanding X and Catholic hierarchy demanding the usual immunity asking for Y. Rights of the kids, subject to the usual crapola of blame free schooling.

    Teachers, leave those kids alone.

    G.

    THURSDAY 12/05/2005 16:26:55

    Inquiry may be launched at school

    A police inquiry may be launched at a Northern Ireland grammar school where pupils were secretly filmed in a changing room, it emerged today.
    By:Press Association

    Senior officers have asked lawyers to confirm whether an investigation can be started.

    The Abbey Christian Brothers School in Newry has been fiercely criticised for installing CCTV equipment in a bid to catch a thief.
    Although the camera has been disconnected, taped footage was seen by some students.

    Sex abuse campaigners accused the school of an exploitation of trust.

    Although alarmed parents have demanded an explanation from the authorities at Abbey Grammar, no complaint has yet been lodged with the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

    However, it is understood talks are underway with the PSNI`s legal adviser to establish their position amid the deepening disquiet.

    Both the District Commander for Newry, Chief Superintendent Bobby Hunniford, and a sergeant attached to Community Safety branch are involved in the discussions.

    The school has defended its method for trying to stop a spate of thefts, thought to have occurred during the 2003-04 academic year.

    Principal Dermot McGovern was unavailable for immediate comment today, but he has previously stressed the camera was only installed for a brief period to catch the thief.

    As soon as this was achieved it was disconnected, he said.
    Footage taken by the camera was later inadvertently viewed by a small number of pupils.

    It is believed a tape was discovered by a student in a room used for PE studies.

    Despite the school`s reassurances in a letter sent out to all parents, they refuse to be placated.

    Brendan Curran, a Sinn Fein councillor whose teenage son attends Abbey Grammar, demanded a full public meeting.
    He told Press Association: “This was totally inappropriate, the school should have recognised this was a major mistake and acknowledged that.

    “They have made the situation worse by not explaining if this was the first time or if the film was copied.”
    The Nexus Institute which counsels sex abuse victims delivered an equally withering verdict.

    Spokeswoman Paula Hanratty questioned if the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child had been breached.

    She said: “This is exploiting young people in a situation, where they have no other option other than to get undressed in order to participate in PE (physical education), for the school to catch a thief.”

    A police spokeswoman was unable to comment on the matter.
    But a Northern Ireland Assembly member today urged officers to begin a full probe.

    Esmond Birnie, an Ulster Unionist MLA, said: “If secret filming of children did take place in a location where privacy was guaranteed by the Data Protection Act or the European Convention on Human Rights, then it is vitally important the PSNI investigate the circumstances of any allegations.

    “Before a CCTV camera can be installed in a British school, a formal qualifying assessment has to take place in order to ensure compliance with three important statutes, the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and most importantly, the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

    “In England and Wales, it is standard procedure for Boards of Governors to consult with the LEA and Information Commissioner`s Office.”

    Police later confirmed they planned to speak to the school about the camera being used.

    A spokeswoman said: “The protection of children and young persons is an important goal for all society including parents, teachers, and public services including the police service.

    “We are aware of speculation in relation to a school in the Newry and Mourne area raising concand we intend to contact the school with a view to pursue this matter.

    “Any formal complaint that is made to police will be fully investigated. Anyone wishing to make a full written complaint to police should contact them in Newry.”

  • Gregory

    “he should be cctv’d. I think it is funny and cute and maybe even a tourist attraction. He should feel prpud that the Council get off on watching him get off. ”

    The best one is ‘what has he got to hide”. I always get a kick when somebody says that.

    They could do a Joe Arpaio and attach a web-forum to the output feed, put it on the internet.

    It will deter criminals, he won’t be burgled, it is free speech, etc. Darn it, it could raise funds for the greater good of the community.

    Bin dere & done it.

    G.