CCTV, or closed-circuit television is London’s security or surveillance system and is run all throughout the city. Although the purpose of the system is supposedly to keep civilians safe while reducing crime, CCTV can seem a bit “creepy” and invasive. There is very few locations in London where you are out of site of the monitoring cameras, and therefore the government. If George Orwell were still with us today he would have screamed “I told you so!” eluding to his novel 1984; The novel describes a society in which freedom is absent and structure is survival, with the entity of the government (Big Brother) always watching you. For anyone not to make a connection between CCTV and Big Brother would be a shock to me. On almost every store and restaurant, or any building for that matter there are signs reminding you that CCTV is operating at all times (as seen in the picture above); some signs even say “big smiles everyone, remember CCTV is always watching!” which is just downright intrusive of privacy. The locations of the monitors are sketchy in the way that they are all strategically places where you cannot really see them, but they can ALWAYS see you! Now if the police or the government really wants to prevent crime by monitoring all activity and scaring criminals by the threat of being caught on film, wouldn’t you suppose they would want the cameras to be blatantly visible?
When closed-circuit television or recording systems of the sort first started being used, they were for governmental purpose only. Mostly they were used for monitoring rockets, prison cells and some reasons that are still undisclosed to the public. I understand that the police and government want to try to catch and prevent as many criminals as possible, but I feel as though the camera system is a bit too much. Looking around at the fat – paced life of London where everyone knows what they need to do, where to go and will not stop for anyone that gets in their way, CCTV really adds to the whole 1984 vibe of it all. People are just being watched and trained to do their job and make the city keep functioning, it is like some sort of experiment with all of London’s residents as the lab-rats if you will. Now, don’t get me wrong I still think the city is fabulous and am having a wonderful time here I just feel as though something fishy is up with the security system and it almost has the opposite affect; instead of feeling safer, I feel a thousand times more paranoid knowing I am constantly being watched. And, even if you try to forget about the cameras, yu can;t because in the underground transportation system reminders over the intercom state “CCTV is operating during all hours throughout London underground to ensure your safety”, it’s like they are trying to brainwash us. If it is truly for our safety I doubt I would a constant reminder of the fact.