Snap out of it

25th April 2008 at 01:00
Your report on how the Examination Officers' Association plans to film the invigilation process in order to prevent cheating and false allegations against staff ("Exams caught on camera", TES, April 11) provided a timely reminder of the fact that we are allowing ourselves to drift into an Orwellian nightmare

Your report on how the Examination Officers' Association plans to film the invigilation process in order to prevent cheating and false allegations against staff ("Exams caught on camera", TES, April 11) provided a timely reminder of the fact that we are allowing ourselves to drift into an Orwellian nightmare. There is too much surveillance as it is without our exam halls becoming beacons of paranoia too.

CCTV is touted as the answer to far too many things. It may act as a deterrent; it may help police identify criminals; it may protect people sometimes. Or it may not. There are no guarantees and one thing's for sure: it erodes trust and thrives on fear.

It is also a lazy way of managing problems. Perhaps it would be better if we paused to consider the society we've created - the culture of blame and lack of responsibility that makes us turn to CCTV as a quick-fix solution. Short-term gains in the form of a few cameras spying on people here and there are not the answer.

Joanne Dwyer, Chelsfield, Kent.

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