Britain’s Police State: London arrests based on CCTV identification. Britain adopts Chinese model of policing protest?
by Nathan Allonby
December 21, 2010
CCTV has led to large scale arrests, following the recent student protests in London, over increased tuition fees. A total of over 180 people have been arrested, with the majority identified by CCTV.
The current arrests very much represent a landmark – we are now equipped for the Chinese approach to public order, in almost a complete reversal previous British policing.
The power of the new system is based on the ability to track down individuals at leisure. However, this ability could be used as easily to track anyone, in “political policing” of lawful democratic activity.
More than 180 people have been arrested by police investigating rioting during the series of protests against rising student tuition fees.
Senior officers said the vast majority of the 182 suspects were aged between 17 and 25 and have never been involved in violence or criminal acts before.
Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Horne, who is leading the inquiry, said he expects the figure to grow considerably as 80 officers comb through video footage.
Speaking at New Scotland Yard… he said the inquiry could take months to complete. … “What struck me is the number of people arrested who did not go that day with necessarily any intention of committing any violent action.”
Evening Standard, London
Police had been criticised for their handling of the protests, particularly the tactic of “kettling“, where large groups – hundreds – of demonstrators were confined for several hours and not allowed to leave until late at night. It was argued that this tactic actually caused violence, and punished many who had done nothing wrong. Similar criticisms were made when this tactic was used at the G20 protests in London last year.