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London’s New Motto

The City of London appears to have offered a new motto that defines the way of life there for residents and visitors alike: CCTV Surveillance in Operation.

It’s unnerving how pervasive these CCTV cameras are. On every street in the center of town there are multiple cameras aimed in multiple directions, making it impossible to have a moment of privacy. Along with the cameras come signs announcing the surveillance.

On the particular sign you see here, the viewer is warned, “CCTV Images are being recorded for the Prevention and Detection of Crime and for the Promotion of Public Safety”. I note how the phrases “Prevention and Detection of Crime” and “Promotion of Public Safety” are capitalized – as if they’re the names of some sort of unique institutions, instead of actual ordinary prevention, detection and safety.

It seems that the people installing CCTV systems throughout London are aware that they’re creating an institution in the name of crime prevention and safety that isn’t actually synonymous with crime prevention and safety.

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