Topic: Is CCTV surveillance helping to reduce crime or is it affecting the people’s privacy in public spaces?
SURVEILLANCE: A CURSE TO PRIVACY
What does privacy means? “Privacy can be defined as ‘that area of a man’s life which, in any given circumstances, a reasonable man with an understanding of the legitimate needs of the community would think it wrong to invade” (Aquilina, 2010). For example, when people walk on street or play in parks, shop in a public market place, study or talk on phone in public library, they want it to be free in doing all this. However, if the people find them being monitored on CCTV cameras, they feel it uncomfortable to stay in that environment anymore. On one hand, the government is taking advantage of
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This is due to the cameras are often looking in a different direction, are not functioning, or are unable to recognise a crime being commissioned. “Criminals have eyes too, and they know which direction a camera is facing. To give people a false sense of security is negligent and irresponsible” (Goold, 2002). Furthermore, In order to explain more about how CCTV surveillance affects the public spaces, taking a case study of Ben Brown’s article on ‘CCTV in Town Centres, Three Case Studies’, which states that when CCTV’s were installed in New Castle Upon Tyne, Birmingham and King’s Lynn, inorder to reduce crimes they increase the crimes. Cameras had the greatest effect on property crime whereas the effect on personal crime was less clear as there was little change in the level of assault and wounding. “When a survey was taken in the three towns, most people felt safer with the presence of CCTVs, but those who often visited the town centre regularly did not feel any safer” (Brown, 1996). Many individuals felt that the cameras were unable to control the rowdy behavior of the people. When the three cases were compared individually, firstly, In New Castle Upon Tyne crime reduction occurred prior to installation and continued to drop afterward. Due to which the crime rate in non-CCTV surveillance area was also reducing. Theft from vehicles increased after installation along with drunken offenses. But still in New