Police in London conducted a public street trial with facial recognition cameras. A man who covered his face as he walked by the cameras was stopped by officers, forced to submit to being photographed, and then arrested on a charge of public disorder after complaining loudly. The segment starts at 3:35 in the embedded BBC video; here’s more coverage from The Independent:
The Independent revealed that more than £200,000 was spent on six deployments that resulted in no arrests between August 2016 and July last year. Two people wanted for violent offences were arrested after a trial in December.
Critics have called the force’s use of facial recognition a “shambles” and accused Scotland Yard of wasting public money … The Metropolitan Police has described the deployments as “overt” and said members of the public were informed facial recognition was being used by posters and leaflets. But no one questioned by The Independent after they passed through a scanning zone in central London in December had seen police publicity material, and campaigners claim the technology is being rolled out “by stealth”.
I can barely believe the motto of the Metropolitan Police is ‘TOTAL POLICING’. Horseshoe theory is a limiting view of politics, but it is amazing how we get to the terminology of comic-book villainy by other means.
The jobsworth “for your own protection” attitude of British cops is incredibly annoying, albeit less annoying than getting executed in the street by American ones. The real danger, though, lurks in how the cops dance their way between that nonsense and, as one plain-clothes officer puts it, “covering your face is grounds for reasonable suspicion.” When authorities pick and choose rationalizations depending on the audience, the true answer is a secret.