Does surveillance equipment help reduce crime?
- In 2010, in Newark, New Jersey, video cameras witnessed a shootout in an alley. Police saw the shootout happen on video and were able to dispatch officers to arrest the gunmen and take them to the hospital.
- Closed Circuit Television doesn't limit what the video monitor sees to a certain location. In other words, the camera can move to give a better view. This can stop many crimes from happening.
- Video surveillance is often very clear and accurate. The camera can see faces very clearly which will help identify criminals and make arrests.
- Even when fake cameras are put on buses, crime is often reduced. This means that when people see cameras, they think before they do something bad.
- Humboldt Park, Chicago is a example of a city where a lot of crimes were committed. They used to have nearly 500 reported incidents of crime in a single month. In an attempt to help with crime, cameras were put in place and crime dropped 20 percent the following month and stayed low.
- When the Russian planed crashed in Egypt in October 2015, the authorities were asked to hand over any crime evidence. The security tapes have been used as they attempt to figure out who was responsible for the crash.
- Putting up video cameras can take away the number of officers on the streets. If there are cameras everywhere,what's the need for police officers? This could be bad because crimes that are not caught on camera won't be stopped.
- Even if there are security cameras and police see the crime happening they might not get there in time to stop what is happening.
- Drones haven't been used successfully to stop crime at this time. The first and only known use of a drone in the arrest of a U.S. citizen occurred in December 2011 in North Dakota.
- When someone is suspected of a crime, video equipment can be used to track what they do. If the wrong person is targeted, the crime isn't being solved and someones privacy is being invaded.
- "Meta-analyses (studies that average the results of multiple studies) in the UK show that video surveillance has no statistically significant impact on crime. Preliminary studies on video surveillance systems in the US show little to no positive impact on crime." (ACLU)
A sidewalk camera caught a man following a girl, grabbing her and man-handlng her into his car. The video camera caught this on tape and was used to help find the girl and bring her home safely. Police in Virginia recognized the man in the surveillance video as a suspect in a similar case.
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