Crime prevention has been somewhat a battle that most authorities face as they try to come up with new measures to deter crime and anti-social behaviour among citizens. One of the ways to prevent these problems is by using Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in places where there are crime risks such as shopping malls and banks. The CCTV can be defined as the use of video cameras to transmit signals or images to a specific place or set of monitors, which allows close monitoring and surveillance. Nowadays, CCTVs are widely used to prevent crimes and some are installed in public areas. I agree that it plays an important role in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. Since crime and anti-social behaviours such as theft, rape, and other inconsiderate acts can cause damage to our society, measures such as installing CCTVs in certain areas can be used to deter such acts.
The act of breaking the law or anti-social behaviour such a vandalism of government property are done because the criminals believe that there is no one or no authorized personnel watching their wrongdoings. They believe that they can escape from the law because there is no evidence or witness to the crime. By installing CCTVs in areas where the crime rate is high, for example, parking lots or car parks, crimes like car theft can be reduced. In a survey done by Northeastern University, it was analysed that the surveillance cameras have helped in crime reduction, with a decline of 51% crime rates in parking lots. Recently, more people are installing CCTVs in their private residence to stop break-ins. Criminals become discouraged when they see these devices. This is because the cameras may record the criminal’s actions and their faces. The cameras’ presence in the area can curb the criminals from committing the crime for fear of being recorded on tape. Besides that, the technology of surveillance cameras have improved throughout the years, providing high quality and high definition videos and images that can capture the details of people’s physical appearance with the exact time and place. This may well instil hesitation and fear in the hearts of law-offenders, thus dampening their urge to commit crimes.
The CCTVs do not only discourage the acts of crime, but it serves as providing critical evidence for certain crimes. For example, CCTVs were substantially useful in the murder of James Bulger in England in the year of 1993. As James’ mother was momentarily distracted in the shopping mall where they were shopping, the surveillance cameras in the shopping mall recorded scenes of how 2-year-old James was abducted by two 10-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. They brought him out from the shopping mall and to several places before finally murdering him near a cemetery. The video footage documented by the CCTVs of the shopping mall were attained and displayed in national television by the media. A woman who knew Venables and that he had played truant with Thompson that day, saw the video and recognized him. She immediately contacted the police and the two boys were arrested. Clearly, if it had not been for the video, the boys would not have been recognized, and they may have caused other murders or anti-social behaviours which pose a definite threat to people, in this case, small children. The CCTVs have helped to create hard evidence that is unchallenged.
CCTVs have been a very modern measure in reducing crime rates, but some people argue that it actually displaces crime, rather than deterring it. Easily-available mini CCTVs have been known to be used for criminal activity. It can be install at automatic teller machines (ATM) to steal people’s personal identification number without them knowing it. Apart from the fact that it may violate people’s privacy, the CCTVs’ videos are easily hacked and obtained. Some may use these videos illegally for their own use, usually for artistic purposes. In addition, some people think that the CCTVs cannot prevent crime, because crime prevention can only be done through education or correction of behaviour. They think that the surveillance cameras do nothing to inhibit crime, as in some occasions, crime still occur even though the cameras are present. For instance, a bank can still be robbed even with CCTVs operating for 24 hours. During robbery, the robbers can very well conceal their faces from the recording cameras simply by wearing a mask or cloth to avoid recognition. Their acts may be recorded, but their faces have been hidden. As a result, the videos obtained might prove non-useful. That is why some people believe that the CCTVs actually have no role in preventing crime.
In conclusion, crime prevention using CCTVs is not the only way to combat crime and anti-social behaviour, but it is one of the practical ways that should be implemented. There are some countries that install CCTVs in public areas for the purpose of deterring crime and anti-social behaviour such as United Kingdom. A survey by University of Cambridge stated that the installations of the cameras have reduced crime and anti-social activity rates in public locations with a drop of 7%. In highways in some countries, CCTVs are fixed to poles or in trees to detect road-bullies and drivers who exceed the speed limits. So, I strongly believe that the CCTVs are particularly useful in both private housing and public places, as it can create the uncomfortable feeling of being closely observed as offenders commit misconduct. This feeling can generate a consciousness in them, making them reluctant to break the law. Looking at the figures, these methods have positive effects in controlling crime. Therefore, the CCTVs have a significant role in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.
DISADVANTAGES OF CCTV
CCTV Cameras are very useful when it comes to offering reliable monitoring and surveillance to a particular location. They are efficient equipment which help in the prevention of crime; they help keep criminals from breaking inside residences and also stealing valuables. However,I strongly believe that having CCTV security cameras at home has more disadvantages than advantages. Apart from their strengths, CCTV Cameras are disadvantageous when it comes to personal privacy. Homeowners who’ve got CCTV camera systems set up in their own homes are going to be monitored 24/7. They won’t have the capacity to perform what they wish to do because they are being watched every single second, every single minute, every single day! It could be very annoying and also troublesome to appear in a video clip in which you have picked out your nose. It could be really irritating that the smallest motion that you try is going to be captured inside a video. Getting several CCTV Cameras and installing the best CCTV cameras at home can certainly help protect against as well as discourage crooks and also intruders. Yet, you’re also limited from performing a lot of things without restraint. There are a few of the disadvantages of CCTV cameras to people’s personal space such as no more personal discussions. Each family member can easily know what you and your pal is discussing over the phone. Your conversation won’t be recorded completely, but it will capture whatever you have said in your conversation. So if it is something against one of the members of the family, everyone will know. Besides that, no more surprises. You can’t plan for your mother’s surprise birthday party together with your brothers and sisters because it will be documented on video. There are security CCTV cameras which can record not only the video footage but also the audio clearly. If perhaps you are thinking about surprising your own mommy for her 50th birthday celebration along with your siblings, don’t plan it inside your home because it is going to be found by your mother in case she reads the cameras’ recorded videos. In addition, You’re conscious constantly. Having CCTV Cameras observing you will make you sense mindful. You need to act normally and even severely. You can’t carry out outrageous things like running undressed in your home when you’re home alone. You can’t fart or perhaps burp anywhere indoors. Picking your nose is actually a no-no, too. These will simply embarrass you if your father begins to check out the videos and discovers everything you did.
Last but not least, you cannot emote. In case you don’t want somebody see you cry, then moping and crying even inside your bedroom shouldn’t be done. Let us say the man you’re dating just broke up with you and you wanted to be by yourself in your room to weep as well as let your emotions out. But you will find cameras installed inside. Crying inside the bedroom is going to be little bit uncomfortable since everyone will see you moping and crying.