Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ring Of Steel

Hat tip to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

My old hometown, New York, is looking to London as an example of how to improve security in lower Manhattan. London has what is known as the "ring of steel", a system of closed-circuit cameras and narrow roads. Police can block it off while cameras scan for wanted vehicles and monitor traffic and people entering and exiting the area.

New York is considering something similar with controlled entrances and exits and, of course, the CCTV.

A team of New York police officers visited London in September and were given access to the City of London's security procedures. They had the opportunity to talk to London police officers and evaluate the system.

The NYPD is currently uses CCTV in housing projects resulting in a significant reduction in crime.

London instituted its "ring of steel" in response to IRA terrorist bombings and few civil liberty objections resulted. In fact, many of the measures in London largely go unnoticed. The City has 16 entry and 12 exit points where the roads were narrowed and marked with iron posts painted a decorative red, white and black. The posts also deter truck bombs. At each entry point, a camera screens license plates and feeds the data to a computerized system that can flag stolen or wanted vehicles. If a wanted car is spotted, a control room at police headquarters can be alerted within four seconds. Last year the system read 37 million plates and identified 91,000 positive matches for wanted vehicles. Nearly 550 arrests were made as a result.

But wait, in NYC we have the NYCLU to come to the aid of potential terrorists and various other criminals. The New York Civil Liberties Union last summer sent 10 college students to count surveillance cameras in the city.

"The NYPD has to develop policies that protect individual privacy and that do not turn us into a surveillance society where people have to worry that every move is being captured on camera," says Donna Lieberman, executive director of the group.

I do not understand how you can expect privacy when you are in public. The ACLU is the first to defend unlimited freedom for drug dealers, pedophiles and practioners of oddball religious rites. They proclaim the right of panhandlers to invade my privacy and personal space when I'm in public, going so far as to define begging as not just asking for money but delivering a political message. If these aggressive messiahs of mendicancy are permitted to inflict their undesired attention on the public with the blessing and encouragement of the ACLU, then why are they so concerned about CCTV in public?

Is it because they have now added terrorism to their aberrant notion of protected rights? Is terrorism, in the twisted mind of the ACLU, a political message to which we must allow ourselves to be subjected? They have made stranger arguments and the ninth circus court has agreed. Thanks to joke judges like Stephen Reinhardt and the ACLU it has become increasingly dangerous for many people to frequent public places in our cities thus depriving them of their rights. We must not allow the ACLU to deliver on its agenda of moral anarchy. Join us today in the fight to take back America from the tyranny of the minority.

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