Police plan to map all journeys made by drivers on major roads and store the data for five years.
A national network of roadside cameras will be able to read 50 million number plates each day enabling officers to reconstruct the movements of motorists.
In one of his satirical novels, Terry Pratchett observes:
The news that they have nothing to fear is guaranteed to strike terror into the hearts of innocents everywhere.
I’m pretty sure he’s mistaken: it’s too easy for the innocent to welcome these measures. Whether we should be terrified by the state watching us so intently is one question; another is whether it does any good.
Out canvassing, I find that when vulnerable people are being terrorized in their homes — whether by youngsters with airguns, minimoto bikes, noise, loitering, persistent vandalism, drunkenness or something else — they seem always to know who the culprits are or when the next occurrence will be. Statements are taken but there is no justice.
Are we prioritizing correctly?