BY now you will have, should have seen the video of the Walker House robocop camera… since snowy Saturday night the thing’s gone viral and ended up in a few national newspaper this morning.
Jim Jepps’ video posted on the Big Smoke basically shows how the camera on the Somers Town estate starts barking at people crossing the communal gardens about being in a ‘restricted area’. Most alarming is probably the cry that your photo is being sent for some undefined “processing”. Watch the video. Turn the sound up and you can hear the guards.
Yet aside from the privacy, civil liberties fury to it all, there is an irritation among people who have watched the video and passed it on that the mardy voice on the camera is American. Or ‘American Robocop’ to be precise.
I doubt it, but maybe the anger would have been punctured a little if they had programmed in a calmer, lilting voice into the camera. One which doesn’t sound like the breakout searchlights are going to start swirling around the courtyard or a nuclear reactor is about to blow up somewhere down the road. One more like, I don’t know, Des Lynam – we all like him on Grandstand, didn’t we? – whispering: “This is just a normal CCTV camera protecting your estate, there’s no need to worry.” Or if it had to be American, someone soulful like Al Green. It could sing a lullabye rather than being so aggressive. Camden Council seem to have caused a lot of upset on a lot of different levels on this one.