Sunday, June 03, 2007


On my way back from our earlier trip to Fowlmead Park yesterday evening , Mrs Me suggested we enjoy the sunshine further by purchasing Fish & Chips and eating them on the sea front. I therefore made an executive decision to visit Broadstairs, since the old git in the Volvo with whom I earlier exchange hand signals, turned towards Ramsgate.

Despite the climate of fear, ever present on Broadstairs seafront, me and Mrs Me agreed to risk entering the conflict zone, where Thanet council and Kent police have given themselves special powers of arrest, something just short of imposing Martial law.

Although we did not witness any trouble, whilst we ate our fish suppers, you could sense the hostility in the air, middle-aged and middle class groups strutting on the cliff top, with that air of superiority, just gagging for the chance to arrange the removal of undesirables and children.

Despite their disarming appearance (smart casual) I got the impression that at anytime one of these smug middle income crazies, could with that superior manner, engage us in conversation and quickly establish that we did not belong. A discreet phone call made, and before you could say “beat bobby” or “community warden” we would have been swiftly, spirited away with no recourse to the law.

The fact that we were only yards from a one of Thanet’s many intrusive CCTV cameras, did nothing to make me relax, on the one hand we had Broadstairs residents, keeping an eye on us, fearful over house values and on the other hand, some remote dib-dob (who might well get some vicarious pleasure from probing the movements of Thanet’s residents) spying from Thanet councils surveillance bunker, with instructions to keep a close eye on any of those oiks from Margate or Ramsgate.

For me the early evening was ruined, by the thought of the hideously intrusive nature and disturbing presence of CCTV, I had thought of going for a beer to round off the day, but the ambience was destroyed by the idea of overzealous law enforcement. Do I really, want some anonymous unaccountable council functionary, to know my preference for Kronenburg beer I think not.


  1. I know what you mean about intrusive CCTV in Broadstairs. I was sitting in car in small car-park off the High Street with its own CCTV camera. As I waited for my wife to return from shopping I idly looked at camera only to notice it rotating and then focusing on me. I gave the camera a suitable V sign and waited for a response. None came, but on return to Margate couldn't help noticing my route was able to be tracked by the devices all along the High St. You can also be tracked in Margate and all along Northdown Road! We are under constant surveillance so how come so many people are being bashed by thugs? Is it because cameras do not deter because they cannot make arrests and only give our 'Reaction' only police pretty pictures after the event?

  2. I'd just like to see CCTV systems, operated in an open environment since the public is far game for these cameras then maybe we should be able to check out those who watch us and see what so interesting?

  3. Ah ah! Broadstairs was not so quiet this afternoon when a police undercover operation in the High St apparently resulted in arrests and and a shooting with rubber bullets. Local rumour says that browsers studying pond flora outside the aquarium shop suddenly pulled up their hoodies to reveal the legend 'POLICE' as they warned off the locals from the area. Just to make this relevant, I must say that I hardly think that any serious criminals, such as the police must believe these to be, are being identified by the ubiquitous and insidious CCTV.

  4. How true Penelope, I feel that any crime prevention or even crime detection is minimal. I just imagine that cameras make for smarter criminals.

  5. From what I heard, the people arrested in Broadstairs, were wanted for murder. If the CCTV folk had a hand in getting these people off the streets, good on them.
    Also if you are prepared to make an anti social gesture to a camera, why complain when it follows you. If you really are concerned about your every waking breath being watched, use the freedom of information act to find out what cameras do and dont cover, and thier operating capabilities.