Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Police in the UK are encouraging citizens to report people who drive nice cars or buy expensive items to the authorities in a new campaign entitled, ‘Too Much Bling? Give Us a Ring’.
“The Gloucestershire force is encouraging members of the public to report people wearing too much ‘bling’ during the recession. They are also urging people to shop anyone who drives flash cars or buys expensive items without the apparent means to afford them during the credit crunch,” reports the Daily Mail.
Posters for the campaign indicate that the targets of the stasi-like crackdown are well-dressed people who own expensive cars, boats and smoke cigars. Apparently, police in the UK think that actually being middle class and able to afford a nice lifestyle is a sign of probable criminal behavior.
Gloucestershire’s Chief constable Dr Timothy Brain said, “In the current time of financial uncertainty, those who live a lavish lifestyle with no discernable, legitimate income become even more apparent.”
Former Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe responded, “Is this a joke? If the police spent half as much time tackling crime and getting out on the beat as they do coming out with this ridiculous stuff, we’d all be better off….How are you meant to judge if someone buying a piece of jewellery can afford it?”
As we have previously covered in-depth, UK police authorities routinely launch expensive PR campaigns encouraging citizens to report on each other for the most mundane activities.
Examples of suspicious behavior and potential terrorist activity worthy of being reported to police includes looking at CCTV cameras, owning a mobile phone, a van, a computer or a camera, living in an apartment, getting a refund on an item bought in a store, throwing away chemical and pharmaceutical products, or taking photographs.
Around 60,000 citizens are currently being trained by the domestic security service MI5 as “terrorist spotters” who case the streets looking out for such activities.