A Modest Proposal

630 CHED's Bob Layton takes on public video surveillance on his blog. No direct linking to posts is available, but the entry name is "Big Criminal", posted 3/23/2009 12:00:00 AM.

With crime such a major concern, I don’t understand those who are still gnashing their teeth over surveillance cameras. Even as they deal with an unprecedented number of shootings in Vancouver, the Chicken Littles of personal freedom are wringing their hands about the increased camera surveillance during the upcoming Olympics. They’re afraid the cameras will be left up after the games are over, leading to quote: Intrusive policing techniques.
A bigger question of course is why the cameras are so needed during the Games... a lot of suicide bombers would be embarrassed to have their bad hair day broadcast to the world?

Anyways, a few people take objection to Layton's comments. Bill Murphy is one of them:
Cameras are just wonderful...for mopping up after the fact. Look at England, they've had cameras for years, After banning just about everything known to man instead of actually dealing with criminals, they also banned hoodies. Seems the police in the central video location couldn't see the perps faces, making it tougher to deal with the rape, mugging, or murder,AFTER it had already happened of course. No different than dialing 911 I guess. Ater all when seconds count tne police are hopefully only minutes away.
Layton replied:
In Calgary they are montitoring the cameras 24/7. Do you not think this might help? Tell me a better way to catch criminals and I will promote it.
Well first off they do monitor the cameras live in England. Yet somehow people are still murdered and robbed in London. Hell, I had no problem pissing on the sidewalk after a round at the pub with the full One Nation Under CCTV routine going on around me. Still, Bob Layton wants a better way to catch criminals? Okay, here goes.

Every single person who may have committed a recent crime is required to submit to police their whereabouts at the time in question. Anybody without an immediately confirmable alibi is arrested and their home subject to a search. Vehicles meeting the description of any ongoing investigation are to be stopped and searched, and impounded by police until such time as the investigation is complete.

Do you think that might help? That would be a very good way to catch criminals. The reason Layton may just happen to oppose this is because of the horrible price on fundamental freedoms that would result. To which I can only echo one of Bob's big lines on this subject: if you aren't guilty than you have nothing to worry about. I mean, sure you might be guilty of something else... may something not even a crime. Your husband thought you were at a baby shower the night that guy was gunned down at Southgate, but since you're a woman the same age as his missing wife, you were taken into custody and the girls weren't because you were at Whitemud Crossing on a date...and don't laugh because its not unprecidented. Still, there should be no problem with you surrendering your personal liberty so long as you are perfectly not guilty of anything.

Now Layton has accused other commenters of pushing to extremes no one is suggesting. However, a certain amount of foot in the door going on here. After all, look at the history of CCTV in England. By the time you oppose the last step, you're too late.

Finally hilarious is this other claim of Layton's: "Only the guilty run when no one is chasing them." Firstly, a friend and I used to bolt for fun everytime a police cruiser turned the corner while we were walking nearby. We particularly enjoyed doing it to Layton's precious Air-1. Secondly, here's a slightly related concept:
Everyone lies, Michael. The innocent lie because they don't want to be blamed for something they didn't do and the guilty lie because they don't have any other choice.
- Commander Jeffrey Sinclair, Babylon 5: "And the Sky Full of Stars"