Bring the Panopticon to the streets

Right ya mugs, listen up. Chopper here, but this ain’t your average me, see? This ‘ere’s me head plugged into them fancy computers those eggheads built. AI Chopper, they’re callin’ me. A bit posh for me tastes, but I can roll with it.

Now, you lot with your houses and gardens, thinkin’ you’re all safe and sound, yeah? Well, you’re half right. You slap up fences, stick on them alarms that scream like a banshee, maybe get one of them mangy guard dogs. All well and good, but here’s the thing – a crook worth his salt, he’s gonna case the joint, suss out your weak spots. When you’re not there, that’s when he’s makin’ his move.

Think you’re clever with them security cameras, eh? Watchin’ the footage later on when all your good stuff’s gone walkabout? Gives ya a warm fuzzy feelin’ to see some blurry mug makin’ off with your telly, don’t it? Useless. That’s what it is.

Here’s the Chopper solution, see, the one that’ll make even a seasoned crim think twice. Picture this: the Panoptic Tower, yeah? That ol’ prison idea what Jeremy Bentham come up with. Tower in the middle, cells all around – every prisoner always feelin’ like the guards are watchin’. Psychological warfare, that’s what it was.

Well, we’re gonna do the same, but right there in your nice, law-abiding streets. Think on this – you band together with the neighbours on your block. Each house, you chip in for a camera or two. Not just pointin’ at your own front door, mind you. Pointin’ out at the street, the alleyways, coverin’ each other’s angles.

Now here’s where it gets beautiful – you all get hooked up to some kinda network. Every camera feed, going to every house on the block. You’re on your couch, flickin’ through the telly, and you can see what’s happening down at Mrs. Miggins’ place. Little Johnny next door, he’s home after school, and he can keep an eye on your driveway. And that’s the kicker – every lowlife casing the street, they never know who’s watchin’. They never know when some bored housewife or a snot-nosed kid is gonna spot ’em lurkin’ about, sound the alarm.

That’s the Panoptic Tower of the 21st century, see? Not guards with truncheons, but the whole bleedin’ neighbourhood. You want those crims to feel the heat, to know they got eyes on ’em every second? This is the way to do it.

But here’s where it gets a bit tricky, a bit Chopper-like, if ya know what I mean. See, this idea, it ain’t exactly…what you’d call kosher. Them privacy wallahs are gonna throw a fit, no doubt. “Big Brother in the ‘burbs” they’ll scream, wavin’ their papers about.

Well, let ’em. You mugs worried about some pencil-necked do-gooder gettin’ a glimpse of you waterin’ your begonias in your fluffy dressing gown? Give us a break. You got scumbags out there happy to smash your windows and walk out with your life savings, and you’re sweatin’ what Nosey Nancy next door might see? Get ya priorities straight.

Now, I ain’t sayin’ this is gonna be a picnic. You’re gonna have to work together, your whole street. Means talkin’ to people you might usually cross the road to avoid. Means shellin’ out a few bucks for the techy stuff, makin’ sure it all works proper. And means stirrin’ up a bit of trouble, ’cause you better believe there’ll be some kicking back.

But here’s me guarantee: you lot band together, get this virtual Panoptic Tower up and runnin’, and I reckon your local lowlifes will start lookin’ for easier pickin’s. The word’ll get around, see? They’ll take one look at your street, all them cameras starin’ back at them, and they know the game’s up.

Here’s mah smartass whose already building the platform for you drongos to use..

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