There is something deeply disturbing about CCTV images. The reason for this is very simple. It’s because the news media habitually use them to show us the events in the immediate build up to something dreadful. Often the images depict normal scenes from life, people on trains, walking through a shopping centre, on the phone, holding hands. This is why such images are popular among film makers as a way of making us feel tense and uneasy.
I was thinking about this on a bus in London on Friday. The bus had a CCTV screen in front of the passengers showing jump cuts of the interior from different angles. But what was it for? To remind some of us we were being watched? To remind the others that if anything happened, it was all on film? To me, the grainy figures on the screen just looked vulnerable.