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Police to use Street View-like cameras in Manchester

As part of a new pilot project in Manchester, two police cars are being fitted with telescopic cameras, mounted on masts. Police hope it will cut road deaths by spotting distracted drivers

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever," wrote George Orwell. Rumour has it his editor expunged the next part of this Nineteen Eighty-Four passage, which read, "And then have a think about Google Street View cameras on top of police cars. Weird, huh?"

As part of a new pilot project in Manchester -- seemingly inspired by the search behemoth's photo project -- two police cars are being fitted with telescopic cameras, mounted on masts. Police hope it will cut road deaths by spotting distracted drivers.

Obviously, peering out of your police car window to spot distracted drivers distracts you from driving. So money was immediately needed for cameras.

Fortunately, for now this is just a pilot scheme. If we've learnt one thing from Google's ever-conspicuous Street View cars, however, it's that if you see one coming your way, pull your pants up and relieve yourself against a wall that isn't being photographed by a car.

And it's likely such conspicuous surveillance will inspire similar paranoia until the car has overtaken you, and it's safe to continue your conversation on the phone. But should you be caught, you could be slapped with a fine. Refuse, and it's court time for you.

What do you think? Needless spending, creepy surveillance or a wise public service investment? The comments are open below.