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MOTORING IN SPAIN

BIG BROTHER HAS ARRIVED - AT LAST?

From 2006, Britain is expected to be the first country where every journey by every vehicle will be monitored and entered on a national database.

Summarised from The Independent Newspaper, UK.

(Steve Connor, Science Editor) Published: 22 December 2005.

It has been announced that Britain is to become the first country in the world where vehicles will be photographed during journeys and the details recorded on a database.  This means that cameras everywhere, including service areas and car parks, etc. are expected to be modified and connected via satellites to a central point where the recorded information will be stored for an expected two years.

This innovation is though to be a great step forward in the fight against crime and terrorism, but any outcry form human rights groups has not had time yet to erupt.

The system will work using cameras that can read number plates, incorporating many thousands of existing cameras.  It is planned that by March 2006, the central offices at the Police National Computer Centre at Hendon north of London will be on-line to record 35 million number plates a day with the number, date, time and precise location using global positioning systems, transmission being via satellites to Hendon.  Eventually, with the introduction of more cameras, the target is expected to be 100 million a day, and police officials have announced that this step is the biggest since the introduction of finger-printing. 

I would disagree there.  DNA testing was a leap, not a step forward.  However, if it works and is not another CSA fiasco as far as the computers are concerned, It will be a valuable tool in the fight against crime and terror, especially if the number plate system can be used with a quick warning system when the vehicle type and colour does not match up with the number.

Thos who drive without paying road fund taxes and have no insurance will now find it much more difficult, as the system will, we are told, "flag" any vehicle that is shown on the system as not being insured or had the taxes paid, and it is estimated that there are a million vehicles every day in this state on the UK roads.  Now all we need is a system that tells the authorities that the driver is drunk, drugged or unlicensed.  I guess that will come one day.   

BUT WILL IT RELEASE MORE CONSTABLES THAT CAN PATROL THE STREETS?

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