It seems to be that the Metropolitan Police is making large efforts in creating chaos and public paranoia. Their latest campaign (covered in B, Boing Boing and HCSP among others) suggests that if we see any sort of suspicious behaviour by our neiughbours, we shouldn't think twice, but report it to the counter terrorist hotline. You can find the whole campaign at the Metropolitan Police website. Their radio ad is the most orwellian thing I have ever heard. It reminds me of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by PK Dick, in which human-like replicants are infiltrated amongst us, and the Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. It says:
"How do you tell the difference between someone just videoing a crowded place and someone who’s checking it out for a terrorist attack?
How can you tell if someone’s buying unusual quantities of stuff for a good reason or if they’re planning to make a bomb?
What’s the difference between someone just hanging around and someone behaving suspiciously?
How can you tell if they’re a normal everyday person, or a terrorist?"
Answer: "The answer is, you don’t have to."
Just call. Of course, they have dispatched also lots of posters advising people to call them if they suspect that somebody is taking strange pictures. They always take special care for us.