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Limit CCTV

Comment 1st July 2010

We should limit the amount of closed circuit television cameras. Ideally I would like to see less of them but that may be a little too optimistic, but realistically I think it would be possible to put a limit on how many would be allowed within a certain area. This applies specifically to police or council cameras – I believe a shop/ business owner has every right to protect his/her property and stock in whatever (reasonable) way he/she choses. In addition CCTV should not be allowed in schools or in purely residential areas.

Why does this matter?

 

In the UK there is approximately one camera for every 14 people making us the most watched over population in the world. I have read a number of studies and reports, including ones published by the home office and none can find solid evidence that more CCTV reduces overall crime. Car Crime is the only area of any significance that has been successfully reduced with the assistance of CCTV. Violence, personal theft, drugs or alcohol abuse etc. have all remained unaffected by the rise of CCTV, instead these crimes have been pushed out of the town/ city centres (where there is a high density of cameras) and into residential areas – therefore pushing crime right onto people's doorsteps. 

I personally despise the notion that I can be watched and tracked almost anywhere I go, it presumes that I am a criminal before I have even done anything wrong. We are walking into a big brother society where our right to privacy no longer exists. But the thing that worries me most is that CCTV has the potential to be abused to control a population. I am not suggesting that this new government, or indeed the last, are purposefully abusing the power that comes with the ability to see everything but they would be able to if they wanted. This power that is in the police and governments hands if it continues to grow has the power to completely control the movements and actions of its population. 


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