Press release: CCTV’s new ‘Benign Big Brother’ effect explained at George Orwell Festival

August 30, 2011, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, UK. Breakthroughs in the latest digital CCTV technology, and the changing nature of its effect on our lives, will be explored at a free talk taking place on Wednesday, 14 September at Letchworth Arts Centre, as part of the George Orwell Festival 2011.

‘Big Brother Goes Digital – The Future CCTV Surveillance’ (7pm-8pm, Arts Café Room) will look at whether the positive effects of CCTV get overlooked when we worry about living in a ‘surveillance state’ where security cameras seem to intrude on our privacy as we make our way about the public domain.

CCTV has long been seen as symbolic of the so-called ‘Big Brother society’ that George Orwell describes so chillingly in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, but, argues speaker Stephen Burley of vision specialist NCPI Solutions who will be presenting the talk, the positive effects of CCTV has are less well recognised.

“Next-generation CCTV technology is shaping our future for the better,” says Burley. “The latest systems can do much more than just keep a watching brief on criminal activity. Huge improvements in camera image quality mean that high-definition digital CCTV is helping to keep safe places where previously it would have been impossible to place cameras, such as in-transit public transport and rural locations.”

Burley explains: “In-vision monitoring techniques mean that CCTV can operate on a predictive basis, helping operators to detect possible problematic situations before they happen by checking for behaviours indicating that an incident is likely to occur. This means that potential incidents can be dealt with before they turn more serious.”

A presentation will include live demonstrations of cutting-edge CCTV using technology from high-resolution digital CCTV leader MOBOTIX. The demos provide an exclusive insider’s view of what the state-of-the-art cameras and back-end computer image management systems are now capable of.

“Most people never get to see what CCTV does from the ‘other side of the lens’,” adds NCPI Solutions’ Stephen Burley. “My talk on 14 September will be a rare opportunity to gain insights into how far the technology has advanced.” The talk will be followed by an open Q&A session chaired by technology writer and George Orwell Festival co-ordinator James Hayes. Due to the limitations of the venue, audience places are limited – tickets can be reserved from the Letchworth Garden City Tourist Information Centre (Letchworth Garden City Tourist Information Centre, 33-35 Station Road, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 3BB (Tel: +44 (0)1462 487868 /, David’s Bookshop (, or online from the event’s webpage –

ABOUT THE GEORGE ORWELL FESTIVAL The George Orwell Festival 2011 takes place September 9-18 in Letchworth Garden City and the nearby village of Wallington, where Orwell lived. The Festival is a community-based multi-streamed week of events celebrating the life and work of this respected and influential author. It will showcase staged adaptations of Orwell’s stories, themed debates, an academic symposium, art exhibitions, comedy evenings, themed talks, and much more. Well-known speakers from the fields of literature, media, and culture, are appearing.

NCPI SOLUTIONS was originally founded in 2001. The company is focused on the design, installation and maintenance of specialist building services including state-of-the-art CCTV and access systems, especially in high security and environmentally challenging areas. Its commitment to technology-leading manufacturers means that it is always pushing the boundaries of what is possible and achieving beyond its customers’ expectations.

ABOUT THE LETCHWORTH ARTS CENTRE  The Letchworth Arts Centre in the centre of Letchworth Garden City, presents exciting exhibitions, live shows, and arts-related courses. Entrance is located at 2 The Arcade, off Leys Avenue, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire SG6 3EW. Tel: 01462 670788 / /

FESTIVAL INFORMATION AND CONTACTS: James Hayes – Festival co-ordinator Tel: +44 (0)777 3705894 / email:

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