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And it required an anorak wearing FOI spotter to notice the releases and wade through the reams of redacted paperwork to reveal anything...

One such revelation was that Johnson wasn't in fact the author of the policy.

[ The International Working Group on Video Surveillance (IWGVS) published an open letter to the Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn on 27th January 2017 [0], asking him to reverse a decision of his predecessor Boris Johnson.

This article lays out the back story to that letter.

In August 2013, Greenhalgh signed an order [5] requesting a quarter of a million pounds to conduct a "consultation" exercise (and to asses the signage required to facilitate ANPR camera sharing between Tf L and MPS - not to pre-empt the consultation's outcome or anything).

Greenhalgh's "consultation" was launched in February 2014 on the 'Talk London' website [6], which allowed registered users to take part in an exhaustive four question survey containing gems like: "Tf L have around 1400 cameras on major roads in London, collecting vehicle number plate data which is currently used to enforce congestion and low emission zone charges.[...] Do you think the police should or should not have access to data collected by these cameras to help them tackle crime?

Liberty was at the heart of the constitution, that is to say that the importance of liberty to the way of life in England went before the laws and the laws were built upon that foundation.

Now the constitution is considered merely a dry academic topic and the spirit of liberty is all but forgotten.

Disturbingly, the police now act as though they too are administrators - through their central role in decision making and the equally contrived justifications they give for their actions.

So we're talking about approximately 0.15% of affected drivers who support the policy. But it doesn't include the 4,000 people who took part in further online surveys in February/March 2014, plus the consultation report also added some polling from 2013 (before the consultation) to help boost the number surveyed to a more respectable 8,315.

Ultimately the best they can do is a total figure surveyed equivalent to 0.69% of the drivers affected by the policy - surely a quorum in anyone's book. In response to a Mayor's Question in 2015 [9] he said: So to summarise, of the 0.001% of Londoners surveyed, almost 8 out of 10 people who mostly thought the police already had access to Tf L's ANPR cameras were in favour of a policy that would allow their somewhat inaccurate view of reality to become more accurate.

In 1929, further to inspiring a parliamentary committee to investigate Ministers' Powers, then Lord Chief Justice, Lord Hewart coined the phrase "Administrative Lawlessness" to describe a worrying trend in English politics - the exercise of arbitrary power, where decisions are made in the shadows, not based on evidence and without proper scrutiny.

Hewart wrote [3]: "Arbitrary power is certain in the long run to become despotism, and there is danger, if the so-called method of administrative "law", which is essentially lawlessness, is greatly extended, of the loss of those hardly won liberties which it has taken centuries to establish." In 2017 Hewart's language may seem antiquated but in our not so distant past words like "liberty", "constitution" and "freedoms" were in common usage.