I’m having some unexpected difficulties plotting my current novel due to a peculiarly British phenomenon: the obsession with putting CCTV cameras on, well, everything. Now, other countries have CCTV, but none deploy them with the alacrity of the British.
|“Big Brother is Watching You.” ― George Orwell, 1984|
To be brief, the villain in my story needs to push a hapless victim onto the railroad tracks, and it needs to look like an accident, but with an estimated camera-to-civilian ratio of 1 to 32, it is patently impossible to pick your nose, scratch your arse or, more to the point, throw someone under a train, without it being captured on the current equivalent of video. Even the most remote, rural railway station I could find was bristling with CCTV cameras. It is truly disheartening.
|\”Every move you make, every step you take,
I\’ll be watching you,\” ― Sting
And the thing is, this only causes problems for people like me. If I go ahead and write that scene, people will read it and toss the book aside, thinking, “What rubbish! If anyone tried to do something like that they would be spotted on CCTV!” And because the public has this perception, my job is harder (are you feeling sorry for me yet?), but the sad truth is, my villain most likely could get away with it because, despite the proliferation of cameras, they never seem to capture any criminals.
|C\’mon, cut a guy a break!|
Surely those billions of pounds could be better spent putting a few more bobbies on the beat to catch these miscreants red-handed. Though I fear that would do little good, either.