Do more CCTV cameras in public places increase public safety and protect the community from violent nutcases?
Let’s check with our friends in the U.K., which is operating 20% of the world’s public safety CCTV cameras. (Evidence says: Definitely not in this case.)
CCTV cameras don’t prevent crimes, people. They may make it easier to identify the bad guys after the fact, but there’s no way to monitor all of those cameras 24/7 and dispatch a cop to the scene instantly if the monitor shows a crime in progress. They’re not there to make people safer, they’re to make the post-crime work of the police easier, and to give the illusion of safety. Sure, you’re more likely to catch the perpetrator if he was unwise or reckless enough to show his face on camera…but that’s a small consolation if you’re the victim. When you back up those CCTV cameras with a justice system more concerned with protecting the perp than the victim, they’re actually worse than useless, because then their only raison d’etre is to give the politcritters something to point at and say, “See? We’re doing something!”