CIVIL rights groups have reacted
cautiously to the news that Bracknell shoppers will be asked to
provide thumbprints with credit and cheque transactions.
But police say consumers need not
worry because there are no Big Brother-style plans to monitor
people's movements around town.
Officers also say there will never be
a database of customers' fingerprints, and because the scheme is
voluntary, there are no implications under the Human Rights Act.
Thumbs Up will run for four weeks and
PC Richard Peek said: "I'm confident the scheme will fulfill our
aims and attract more shops in the town centre to sign up.
"However if during the pilot a number
of problems are encountered, or the feedback from the shops is
negative, the scheme may be stopped."
Civil rights group Liberty believes
the scheme must be monitored closely to ensure people's freedoms are
Spokesman Barry Hugill told the News:
"There is always a danger in something like this starting out as a
voluntary scheme but becoming compulsory.
"We would also want to see cast iron
guarentees as to who is going to have access to this data, because
there is a potential for fraud there as well."
Evans manager Jackie Gordon, who is
taking part in the trial, said: "Any scheme which helps the police
to reduce crime, fear and disorder is worthy and should be