This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Should a network of CCTV cameras be installed in public spaces to reduce and solve crime?
Should a network of CCTV cameras be installed in public spaces to reduce and solve crime?
You leave the underground parking lot of your condo, drive to work and park in a public parking lot. Then you walk to the bank machine, get a coffee and head to work. First stop after work is the gym, then the grocery store and back home. But did you even realize you were being recorded for much of that journey?
By the time the average person has finished their day, they are likely to have passed by several CCTV cameras. They are in most underground parking lots, shopping centres, hotels, every bank and ATM, and even some fitness clubs.
In 2009, a count was done in Vancouver on the number of CCTV cameras and over 2000 were found in the downtown core alone. Who knows how many there are right now?
Following the sexual assaults that occurred around the University of B.C. campus last year, many were calling for the installation of CCTV cameras to ensure student safety. Others cited privacy concerns and civil liberty infringements, and the university decided that no new cameras would be installed until a full security review was completed sometime this year.
In fact, while many law enforcement officials and governments around the world have heralded them as a major crime-fighting tool, that claim is questionable. For instance, the U.K. has a large network of CCTV cameras and yet there is ample research to show it has only a modest impact on general crime rates – and then only in specific circumstances…
Read the rest of this weeks column,vote and or comment at this link: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/01/12/cameras-have-dubious-record-for-actually-preventing-crime