Friday, September 14, 2012
Schools in England and Wales have 100,000 cameras to spy on pupils trained on playgrounds, classrooms and even toilets
School pupils are being watched by an astonishing 100,000 spy cameras, a report revealed yesterday. CCTV surveillance has been set up in playgrounds, classrooms and even toilets and changing rooms.
Some schools have a camera for every five children in the name of controlling violence, vandalism and theft. In fact, the average secondary now has 24 cameras and an academy 30.
In a development that has already provoked outrage among some parents, more than 200 schools have CCTV operating in changing rooms or toilets.
The extent of pupil surveillance was revealed in a report by Big Brother Watch which was based on Freedom of Information replies.
It found there are 106,710 spy cameras in secondary schools and academies across England and Wales – a quarter of the total used to monitor all of London's streets.
Big Brother Watch questioned how so many cameras have been set up without any check, what the recorded pictures were being used for, and who was watching them.
Its director Nick Pickles said: 'The full extent of school surveillance is far higher than we had expected and will come as a shock to many parents.
'Schools need to come clean about why they are using these cameras and what is happening to the footage. Local authorities also need to be doing far more to reign in excessive surveillance and ensure resources are not being diverted from more effective alternatives.'
Slightly under half of the cameras are mounted inside school buildings rather than outside, where they can be used to monitor potential intruders as well as pupils.
Typically, a school will have a camera for every 38 pupils – which means there are roughly two for every five teachers. However, 54 schools have a camera for every 15 pupils and in some there is a camera for every five pupils.
Top of the list for camera/pupil ratio is the Christ the King Catholic and Church of England Centre for Learning in Knowsley, Merseyside.
Cameras have been placed in changing rooms and toilets by 207 schools, which have 825 cameras in all trained on areas where pupils might expect to have a degree of privacy. Radcliffe Riverside School in Bury has the highest number of changing room cameras, with 20.
The watchdog group called for an independent review of school spy cameras. It said: 'This should ensure any school using CCTV has appropriate policies in place so teachers and parents are fully aware of why surveillance is being used, when footage can be viewed, and by whom.'
It added: 'CCTV appears to be used as a quick fix for much more complex problems that simply cannot be solved with passive surveillance.'
No research has ever been carried out in Britain into the effectiveness of spy cameras in schools, the report said.
One was conducted five years ago in Paris, which found that the cameras failed to stop the increase of theft in French schools, that they failed to stop unwanted visitors or intruders at night, and that their effect on levels of disorder among pupils was 'marginal'.
The report said that legislation pushed through this year with the aim of restraining the spread of spy cameras will do nothing to protect schoolchildren from unjustified intrusion or potential abusive observation.
The Protection of Freedoms Act introduced by Home Secretary Theresa May, which is now coming into force, says relevant authorities 'must have regard' to a code of practice about surveillance cameras. The code has yet to be finalised.
However there are no legal sanctions to punish those that break the guidelines and nor will a new Surveillance Camera Commissioner have powers to enforce the rules or carry out inspections
A number of schools have run into controversies after parents have discovered cameras have been installed in changing rooms.
In 2009 Notre Dame High School in Norwich caused an outcry after installing CCTV in toilets in a bid to stamp out vandalism.
Parents accused the school of using Orwellian tactics, but the school said the move was the last line of defence and the cameras only monitored the sinks and taps.
Local education authorities backed the right of heads to operate spy cameras. A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: 'Headteachers and governors are best placed to know what the needs of their schools are.'
Another false rape claim from Britain
They seem to be routine in Britain. At least the Brits usually lock up the liars
A jilted lonely heart who tried to frame her ex-lover for rape after he refused to rekindle their affair has been jailed. Janet Higginbottom, 36, got drunk and dialled 999 at 2am falsely claiming she had been stalked and then raped in the street after being followed home.
Manchester Crown Court heard how Higginbottom of Broadbottom, Hyde, then identified her ex as the culprit, wrongly claiming he had fled in a car after the incident even though he was at home all the time.
Higginbottom’s unnamed former boyfriend was later arrested in a 4am raid in front of his current girlfriend and held for 11 hours. He was eventually freed without charge after Higginbottom broke down and confessed she had fabricated her story after detectives uncovered inconsistencies in her evidence.
Earlier the court heard how Higginbottom, who was described as 'lonely and isolated', had had a fling with the victim in 2007. They had split, but last year Higginbottom had sent him a series of text messages in a bid to rekindle the relationship.
When he did not respond to her advances, Higginbottom began sending him abusive text messages, the court heard.
Shortly afterwards she called 999 and claimed in a rambling 20-minute phone call that he had raped her in the Levenshulme area of Manchester.
Police went to the scene after the false report was made at 2.30am on November 26. They found Higginbottom staggering in the street and took her to a station so she could receive specialist help and support.
When she was examined by a doctor, it was claimed she had injuries which supported her claim.
Higginbottom was interviewed by officers and told them how she had seen her 'attacker' in Manchester and he had followed her and raped her on the street.
She said he then drove off in a car and provided the registration number for it.
But Greater Manchester Police said the investigation highlighted a number of serious inconsistencies and when asked about these Higginbottom later admitted she had lied about the rape and it hadn’t happened.
Jailing her for 15 months the judge, recorder Simon Killeen told her: 'This offence was malicious.'
Today Detective Constable Ian McNabb, of Greater Manchester Police said: 'Higginbottom falsely accused a man of raping her, when in reality he was at home when the alleged offence took place.
'Due to her lies, not only did this man have to endure the shame of being arrested in front of his partner, but he also spent 11 hours in a police cell and had to deal with the associated stigma of being accused of such a grave offence.
'Thankfully though, our thorough inquiries were quickly able to establish the truth. 'But a lot of police time, effort and money was wasted on this false rape investigation when it could have been better spent helping genuine victims of crime.'
Churches 'need gay marriage safeguards’, says British government minister
Church leaders have “legitimate” concerns about European judges forcing them to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies under government proposals, Cabinet minister Eric Pickles will say.
Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, said that churches must have clear legal protections to ensure that they cannot be forced by the European Court of Human Rights to marry homosexual couples.
Mr Pickles made the comments in a Daily Telegraph article in which he offers strong support for the role of Christianity in public life, and attacks the “aggressive secularism” he says is found in parts of the public sector.
The Coalition has proposed a change in the law to allow homosexual couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals.
The proposals have met opposition from many Conservative MPs and leaders of the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church.
Ministers have said that churches and other faith organisations will be allowed to go on refusing to conduct same-sex marriages, meaning homosexual couples will be limited to civil marriages.
The Church of England has said it is concerned that any exemption for churches could be subject to legal challenges.
“There are legitimate fears of European Court of Human Rights challenges and churches being forced down the line to conduct such ceremonies against their wishes,” Mr Pickles said. “These concerns need to be explicitly addressed in any legislative reform to provide safeguards against such coercion.”
The Conservative Cabinet minister’s support for the Church over homosexual marriage comes as Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister, tries to calm a row caused by a statement from his office calling opponents of same-sex unions “bigots”.
Mr Pickles made his attempt to reassure church leaders over the same-sex marriage plan in a broad defence of the role of Christianity. Britain is a Christian nation “and should not be afraid to say so,” Mr Pickles said, insisting that the presence of large non-Christian communities does not diminish that heritage.
“The fact that Britain has welcomed people of many other faiths to live among us over the centuries in no way detracts from this,” he writes. “Indeed, it is the Christian ethos that has made Britain so welcoming.”
Mr Pickles said suggestions that British Christians are being “persecuted” are an exaggeration, but backs those who fear that people of faith are increasingly marginalised. “Long-standing British liberties of freedom of religion have been undermined in recent years by aggressive secularism, especially in the more politically correct parts of the public sector,” he said.
The European Court is considering a case brought by four British Christians, including two workers forced out of their jobs after wearing visible crosses.
Government lawyers told the court this month that Christians should leave their religious beliefs at home or accept that a personal expression of faith at work, such as wearing a cross, means that they might have to resign.
Mr Pickles insisted that the Coalition is committed to the right of Christians and people of other beliefs “to follow their faith openly, including by praying in public and promoting their beliefs — as well as wearing religious symbols”.
“Banning discreet religious symbols for reasons of political correctness is not acceptable,” he said.
Vt.: Political Extortion of Money from Christian Innkeepers for Refusing to Host a so-called "Gay Wedding"
This is what is in store for the rest of the country if you pass gay marriage. Vermont is the only state that voted to approve same sex marriage in a referendum.
Vermont was the first state to pass a law allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions in 2000. It enacted gay marriage in 2009.
For years, gay rights activists have used the gay rights laws to attack the Wildflower Inn in Lyndonville, Vermont.
There appears to be a public and coordinated effort since 2005 to use the courts and "pro-gay" laws to drive a moral business team, practicing moral beliefs, out of business.
Store owners who simply wish to practice their own religious beliefs and plainly state it as corporate policy have been forced to close and end their business. This Vermont company will no longer sponsor weddings because they are Christians who want to practice their faith.
The AP reports: "Under the settlement, the inn also agreed it would no longer host weddings and their receptions."
In one case, out of state homosexual activists, from New York, never met the owners but were told by an employee "the company can not help with homosexual weddings" so they sued under the Vermont pro-homosexual marriage law and are collecting $10,000 in civil penalties to a pro-gay rights commission and $20,000 to a pro-gay charity and the company is out of the wedding business.
Sometimes having no room in the inn is the right thing to do, especially if you are a Christian innkeeper who decides to obey your rights of liberty of conscience and not condone what your beliefs consider abominations against your God and faith.
America's criminal gang leader Al Capone never met the self-proclaimed homosexuals who hate Christianity and moral conscience. You would think that such a thing could not happen here in America, but two self-proclaimed lesbians legally attacked a private Christian business, a Vermont Inn, and extorted money against them through a lawsuit purely on the
basis of a business owner practicing their moral faith.
This could mean that more business operations will be open to this now that this legal precedent is established.
In the rest of the country it means that through a " Gay Imposed Inquisition " that self-proclaimed homosexuals and America's courts are pseudo racketeers who can legally extort money from Christians who refuse to cede their property and religious rights.
These self-proclaimed homosexual gangsters are forcing business owners either to condone sin or pay up. Imagine the kaos that will be caused by driving out moral people from business -- all business.
Imagine an America that requires immoral business operators. That's why we mention Al Capone, by comparison.
America has already spoken. So-called "gay marriage" is "legal" in only one state in America by referendum.
Everywhere else so-called "gay marriage" is illegal, and in every single state where it has come up for a vote, so-called "gay marriage" has been voted down -- every single time. It is time for America to take a stand, or the Gay Inquisition and self-proclaimed "Homosexual Gangsters" extorting money will one day come to your business to destroy you financially if you do not abandon your beliefs and conscience.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.