Tuesday, 7 June 2016

UK: If one picture says a thousand words...

The first impact of our new mayor of London does not bode well for the future safety and security of those who recently voted him into office.

Westminster council has decided to proceed with controversial plans to remove one of our first lines of defence against criminals, and more importantly, terrorists, in the high profile shopping and tourist centre of London's West End.

While it is true that I don't recall mayor Khan campaigning on a 'law and order' platform when he was elected to office, it was rightly expected that public safety would nevertheless be one of his core priorities.

So why remove all of the council operated cameras at this time of heightened threat?

Well firstly, Mr Kahn has not personally removed the cameras. The council has a budgetary problem, don't we all, and hoped that he and the police would share the costs. He has just refused to help the borough to upgrade and run the service, as have the police, but with the advent of MOPAC the mayor's office 'sets the direction and budget' of the Metropolitan Police Service, so if the mayor does not want cameras, there will be no cameras.

The greatest fear facing London is what used to be called a 'Mumbai style attack', but now can be called a 'Bataclan event' (and which city will be next on that murderous list?)

The ability to follow a gang, or several gangs, of murderers in real time and relay their direction and numbers to those entrusted with risking their own lives to save ours, can only be achieved with a centrally monitored system of cameras, and no shopkeeper's anti-theft setup comes close to providing such a level of protection.

Remembering how crucial video evidence was in identifying the Boston bombers and preventing their campaign from continuing thus saving innumerable lives, it is difficult to imagine what justification there can be for this woeful lack of civic duty from the mayor's office.

There is another possibility.

Our new mayor is a well publicised muslim, and knowing islam so well, he may be deliberately engaging on this path for an altogether different motive.

As these cameras are also used to secure criminal prosecutions - their introduction signalled a 30% drop in street crime - he may have reasoned that with the risk of radicalization among the high proportion of muslim criminals so great, allowing them to continue their criminality unabated, and thus keeping them out of prison is a more effective form of anti-terrorist precaution.

That may seem a bizarre kind of logic, but have you tried reading the koran?