[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Talking CCTV to be 'wake-up call'
CCTV cameras

"Talking" CCTV cameras in Blackpool will act as a wake-up call to people taking part in anti-social behaviour, authorities have said.

The resort is one of 20 areas to get the cameras, which are fitted with a speaker to scold people dropping litter or committing anti-social behaviour.

Critics say the cameras are absurd and another example of excessive government intrusion into everyday life.

The funding has been welcomed by local crime partnership, Bsafe Blackpool.

Ten of the town's existing CCTV cameras will be installed with audio equipment that can broadcast safety messages.

Control centre staff can also activate the speaker to "embarrass" anyone they see misbehaving.

Child input

Paolo Pertica, Head of BSafe Blackpool, said the partnership was thrilled to have received the 25,000 funding.

"Talking CCTV will act as a wake-up call to the minority of members of the public who blight our communities by acting anti-socially, and inform the offenders 'real time' that their actions are being monitored and to stop what they are doing," he said.

Local school children are being asked to enter a competition to develop messages for the cameras, with the winners getting to voice the first messages.

Blackpool was announced as one of the UK's 40 Respect Action Areas in January, allowing community leaders to apply for extra funding and support to tackle anti-social behaviour.

There are an estimated 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain.

A recent study by the government's privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner, warned that Britain was becoming a "surveillance society".

John Reid on the use of CCTV in UK cities

'Talking' CCTV scheme expanding
04 Apr 07 |  England
City to test talking CCTV cameras
09 Mar 07 |  Gloucestershire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific