Britain's growing surveillance society has taken another twist. Not content with CCTV cameras on every street corner recording citizens' every move, the town of Middlesborough has fitted some of its cameras with loudspeakers, so wrongdoers can be dressed down publicly as they indulge in anti-social behaviour.
The Daily Mail, reporting "Big Brother is shouting at you", says seven of the town's 158 cameras have been fitted with the speakers. So far, the mayor's office behind the "experiment" claims that it has halted crimes from litter dropping to street assault. One operative claims that a voice warning broke up a brawl, with the opponents scarpering in different directions.
The operators have a restricted list of phrases: The Mail lists "Warning - you are being monitored by CCTV - Warning - you are in an alcohol-free zone, please refrain from drinking" and "Warning - your behaviour is being monitored by CCTV. It is being recorded and the police are attending" as specialities, though they add "thank you" when their targets return to the path of righteousness.