Originally Posted by Walkabout
Thanks for that Armadillo and quite right, the Brits are pretty good at organising chaos.
That will be the saving grace as to why the big brother* thing for the UK will, ultimately, never succeed.
* A statistic I read recently (warning: on the internet so it may be wrong) is that the UK has 20% of all the worlds' CCTV cameras.
Check your facts Walkabout, you are wrong! In fact HALF
of the worlds CCTV cameras are here in the UK - one camera for every 14 people.
As if to make the point, have a look at the graphic below of the former home of George Orwell in London to see something that ought to shock you - 24 cameras within 500 metres of his house.
Your point about the incompetance of the UK authorities is a good one. Where I live (Liverpool) as in many other cities there are "Automated Number Plate Recognition Cameras" many of which are fitted to police cars and bikes. They continuosly scan number plates and compare them to various databases (we are all under surveillance) . Of relevance to this thread, if they pick up a number plate for which no (insurance) match is available on the database the vehicle is stopped and confiscated. The occupants walk home. I have read of pregnat women, entire families and pensioners being put on the street in any weather, at any time of day or night often in not the safest parts of town.
Outside police headquaters here in Liverpool the police proudly display confiscated cars scheduled for crushing, I guess in a lame attempt to intimidate. As we see, the anomolies in the system simply make them look like pratts and they bring policing into disrepute.
You can see one of the cameras on top of a police car in the graphic below.
Here is where the "imcompetant British" and the authoritarianism starts to come into play. There is a backlog for entering insurance details onto the database so there are millions of perfectly legally insured vehicles with no entry on the database. The Police however, make no accomodation for these anomolies. Your vehicle is taken. Just as an aside, the police are pressing for this to be a chargable offence in order for them to take your DNA for their ever increasing DNA database (are you seeing a pattern here yet?). The reason that there are not more vehicles taken by the police is a combination of lack of funds for more surveillance cameras which the goverment is addressing by allowing the police to address through the levying fines from drivers to pay for more cameras and the general lack of traffic police and police in general on the street.
The government will introduce the National Identity Register (a database) (NIR) which physical manifestation will be mandatory Identity Cards which dehumanise and reduce every person in the UK to the level of a vehicle who can be tracked. After applying for permission to live in your own country and paying up to £350 for this card which allows you to live in your own country you too will be subject to the same kind of anomolies that the vehicle insurance issue has thrown up but on a massive scale. We are seeing the authoritarian way the police deal with the problem of insurance "computer says NO" - so lets hope when you have your ID cards and you are stopped by the police (or any of the millions state officials the NIR will make you accountable to) and asked "Your Papers Please" you too don't end up being crushed. Well metaphorically you will be, not physically. Probably.
This is a newspaper article from the Police area where this guys truck was taken from him by the police:-
Insured driver's anger as police crush car
A MOTORIST is considering legal action after his car was crushed by police who wrongly accused him of driving it without insurance.
Fruit and vegetable delivery driver Steven Booth, 36, from Farnworth, near Bolton, was stopped by a patrol car as he drove to work in Bolton.
The father-of-four said police told him they could not find his details on a national database, although his insurers had renewed the policy four days earlier.
The car, a K-registered Peugeot 205, was towed away to a garage and impounded.
Mr Booth's wife Rachael, the policyholder, took the AA insurance certificate to a police station the following morning, but the couple were presented with a recovery charge of £105 and refused to pay.
The bill rose by £12 for every subsequent day - and the car was crushed 14 days later.
Today the AA, who confirmed Mr Booth was fully insured, called on police to take a `balanced approach'.
Police bosses, however, are understood to be angry at delays in updating the database. They are investigating whether the seizure was lawful, but said a notice of disposal was signed at the garage by the Booths.
Mr Booth, who has complained to the Independent Police Complaints Committee, said: "I said I would produce my documents and they said they did not do that anymore, they seized uninsured cars.
"Everything was legal but they wanted £105. It was just after Christmas and I couldn't afford it. I borrowed the money, but when I went back the garage was closed. I went back there and was told it had risen to £117. The police should not have taken the vehicle off me so why should I pay? I did nothing wrong and everything was legal.
"My 10-year-old son has autism and we have had to get buses to the hospital."
Insurance bosses and police have launched separate investigations into the incident.
The AA, which acted as insurance brokers, confirmed the insurance was renewed on January 4.
The AA's Ian Crowder said: "Mr Booth did not do anything wrong. We believe this is not the first time it has happened and we are making representations to the police to try and make sure they take a balanced approach."
A police statement said: "It is the responsibility of insurance companies, not police forces, to ensure that insurance policy details are updated on the national motor insurance database. When deciding if a car should be towed for insurance or licence violations, officers must show `reasonable belief' that an offence has taken place.
"Due to inaccuracies on the motor insurance database officers should not only rely on details held there to constitute `reasonable belief'.
"Inquiries into the exact circumstances are ongoing, but at this stage it appears unlikely that the car was towed unlawfully.
"The insurance policy holder for the car in question signed an official document at the recovery centre on January 8, authorising the company to dispose of the vehicle.
"Despite providing a service where recovery fees can be reimbursed under certain circumstances, GMP has not received any request for reimbursement following the seizure of this car."
The above is not an isolated incident so you can see how easily this New Zelander got caught up in the UK's Kafka-esque system. In point of fact, even having insurance in the UK he just may have had his vehicle crushed anyway.
PS - before a massive backlash forced them to back down the UK government, as part of their national road pricing scheme proposed that every vehicle be fitted with a "black box" which would allow it to be tracked by satelite 24/7. Even when you take your vehicle to the Sahara they would have been able to track you!