Uproar over U.K. traffic spy cameras
Jul 18,2007 00:00 by UPI

LONDON -- British opposition parties are speaking out against a government plan to allow police to use traffic-tax monitoring cameras for law enforcement surveillance.

The plans were mistakenly released by the Home Office Tuesday in which cameras in England and Wales used to levy traffic congestion charges would also be used to track suspect vehicles and drivers, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats denounced the plan, saying "public fears about a creeping surveillance state is revealed for all to see," while Shami Chakrabarti of the civil rights group Liberty told the newspaper the government was hurting itself.

"It is one thing to ask the public for special measures to fight the grave threat of terrorism, but when that becomes a Trojan horse for mass snooping for more petty matters it only leads to a loss of trust in government," Chakrabarti said.

There are about 1,500 traffic cameras in London, and another 1,140 scattered throughout England and Wales.

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