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Crime Prevention - Video and Data Surveillance - Essay Example

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We live in a modern society filled with all sorts of crime, from muggings in darkened allies to cyber-crimes in the faceless forum of the internet.The world today can be a dangerous place. The implementation of Crime Prevention approaches have been, and continue to be, a large part of the solution to these problems. …
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Crime Prevention - Video and Data Surveillance
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Crime Prevention - Video and Data Surveillance

Download file to see previous pages... We live in a modern society filled with all sorts of crime, from muggings in darkened allies to cyber-crimes in the faceless forum of the internet. The world today can be a dangerous place. The implementation of Crime Prevention approaches have been, and continue to be, a large part of the solution to these problems. Crime Prevention is defined as the attempts made to deter crime, lower victimization, significantly enhance the gathering of data on criminal acts, and provide potential prevention response and preparedness (Rosenbaum, Lurigio & Davis, 1998). Video surveillance, or CCTV, has become a favored choice in the goal of preventing criminal activity in both businesses and private properties, and now by government and law enforcement to monitor potential criminal activities of the day to day populace. There are many people who are eager for that level of “persistent “security,” while others believe it is a blatant betrayal of individual privacy and civil rights. However, after reviewing the studies attempted, public response, and potential negative side effects, it becomes amply obvious that the video surveillance approach is misleading and not particularly effective in actually preventing crimes. Issues The Studies It can be difficult to study comparable efficiencies of video surveillance because of all the differing factors involved, the size of cities, population, and number of cameras is only a small part. The studies performed in the U.S. and Britain came to the same conclusion concerning video surveillance. Britain has embraced the video surveillance age and has for quite some time. There are approximately 4.2 million CCTV cameras in Britain; it is possible for one person to appear on a hundred different cameras in any given day. The U.S. by comparison has far less cameras (Landler, 2007). The U.S. studies were performed in California: the first by UC Berkeley in San Francisco and the second - by USC in Los Angeles. Regardless of the number of cameras, whether in the U.S. or Britain, there were no significant changes identified in crime rates over all. The Cost Despite the questionable success ratio, multiple other U.S. cities are encouraging the implementation video surveillance systems; Chicago and New York are just two. This is a very serious concern. Millions of taxpayer dollars are currently being invested in video surveillance, but entirely neglecting to look seriously at the efficiency, practicality, logistics, and cost effectiveness of the endeavors (Biale, n. d.). Combining the cost of the technology, the related equipment, the law enforcement cooperation necessary, and the staff needed to monitor and maintain the equipment, it becomes very obvious that video surveillance may be a complete waste of money, particularly, in these bleak economic times that the U.S. is still suffering. Even more so, after the ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, published the results of studies showing that when a person stares at multiple monitors, after 20 minutes their attention span dramatically reduces, well below the acceptable levels ("What's wrong with," 2002). So the people who are supposed to be watching for “crimes” are compromised and not particularly efficient. Public Opinions Citizens of the U.S. seem care less about the ability of video surveillance to deter crime and more about whether it is a genuine invasion of individual privacy. The idea does bring up questions concerning if it is “just” for American citizens to be watched all of the time? Also, if people know they are being watched, will they behave differently? For many people it could create anxiety, paranoia, and forced unnatural behaviors to avoid “looking suspicious,” even when they are doing nothing illegal or inappropriate. It could also alter people’s daily routines, where they go and how often. The ACLU also warns that potential dangers of regular video surveillance ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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