The Impact of CCTV - Essay Example

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This essay focuses on the analysis of the impact of CCTV and security, that has been one of the biggest concerns for most American citizens recently, especially following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, that clearly horrified the nation and the world…
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The Impact of CCTV
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Download file to see previous pages According to Home Office (2004), the U.K. has an estimated 402 million CCTV cameras, which translates to one camera for every 14 people. In London, for example, one is likely to be caught on camera for at least 300 times a day. The United States is not left behind as most cities and towns have increased the number of CCTV cameras in the recent past to assist in deterring crime and beef up security. Despite the good intention, studies have shown that it is very expensive to install and operate a CCTV camera. The cost has been cited as one of the major impediments of CCTV cameras since, despite their high cost, the benefits are very little. Apart from the set up cost involved in CCTV installation, the system also incurs ongoing operating costs, which makes it expensive to install and operate. Furthermore, the operation of CCTV requires employment of human resource that actively monitors the cameras 24 hours (Armitage 2002, p.8). Such additional costs make the installation of CCTV cameras very expensive and unviable based on the fact that the benefits are very little. A study conducted in the U.K. in 1990s showed that the Home Office wasted millions of Euros in installing CCTV cameras in major towns and cities to assist in improving security (Home Office 2004). Precisely a whopping 78% of the Home Office crime prevention budget was directed towards CCTV installation, according to Home Office (2004). In Stockholm city alone, 55 million Euros were invested in CCTV installation to beef up the security of the city. Despite such huge investment in CCTV installation, findings showed that the crime rate in the city did not change much since some crimes were still being committed in the full view of cameras. This raised many questions as to why the government had to...
The researcher states that 911 events prompted the U.S. government to beef up security in the country through the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. At the same time, American citizens also became more vigilant in a bid to ensure that their security is not compromised in any way. This has seen the number of video surveillance cameras in many towns and cities. Armitage indicates that many American cities and towns installed CCTV cameras as a mean of beefing up security and preventing crime. Basically, a CCTV camera can be installed in a business premise, home compound, street, where the cameras collects videos of all activities taking place, which is then directed to a Digital Video Recorder for viewing, and storage for future reference. In so doing, CCTV enables controlled areas to be put on surveillance remotely. The fact that the CCTV cameras are able to capture events in areas is of great importance to law enforcement and regulatory agencies since it makes it possible for them to respond quickly to an episode once alerted. The analysis, that was conducted by the researcher showed that even though CCTV is effective in crime prevention in some areas such as in vehicle-related crimes, it is not worth investing in. This is because it is expensive in terms of cost, has poor picture clarity, and interferes with the privacy of citizens. As a result, the researcher suggests that government should consider investing the amount allocated for CCTV project for other more effective ways of reducing crime. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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