The Super Secret Camera Spy Center
Okay, so the so the title is actually misleading. I call it "Insecurity", while many others call it "Security." I specifically want your input on this one, AdamS, since I believe that many places in Great Britain have implemented similar systems to their cities.
In Lancaster, PA, the city is "secured" by 165 Live Feed Cameras strategically placed around the city. This city of 55,000 citizens, has more cameras than most major cities, including Boston and San Fransisco!
Now I understand the rationality behind the cameras. It is a social psychology principal. If people see that they are being actively observed, or think they are being monitored, they are less likely to commit a crime.
The cameras are monitored by a watchdog group of civilians. They he have no written guidelines to follow, and official training program on. what is "Good or Bad behavior." It is essentially up to the civilian operator watching the screens to monitor the activity and call police. (Civilian being a member of the city, and not an employee of any kind.) This creates an advanced neighborhood crime watch. The cameras were installed by a private company, and are not city or state ran. (PA/MD CCTV Corporation)
However, there has been great successes in the use of these cameras in Lanaster, as well as England. Success in preventing, or having substantial evidence to a serious crime.
Examples: As for British Security Cameras, I have seen many many many videos of violent, serious fights in the streets that have been used to put the perpetrators away.
As for Lancaster, PA: After a street security camera in Lancaster, Pa., captured the slaying of Solomon Hall’s cousin Tyquan Hall in 2007, the gunman was convicted.
Tyquan Hall, Slain Victim's Family Finds Justice
Now what I find interesting is that according to the L.A. Times, very few of the residents initially found the cameras to be a problem. Now, more and more people find these cameras to be becoming an issue.
Now, play in the principal of social psychology i mentioned. Crime should, in theory, decrease. However, since the installation of the 165 cameras, crime has increased. The operators are calling the police on simple "crimes", from loitering to jaywalking. This to me seems to be OVERKILL of some vigilante moron that cannot find anything better to do but spy on others and try to control others.
I fear that this could, over time, create a "Perfect" society. Where any infraction, minor or major, could be caught on film and prosecuted via mail, if need be. I personally agree with cameras in certain areas. Intersections, for instance, can help clear up confusion about accidents. Outside of bars or specific troubled areas where violent crimes are repeated, are good as well. I fear it is just to hard to draw the line though as to where it is good to have cameras observing innocent Americans in PUBLIC. What one person considers to be a severe crime or a good location for a camera, may be considered a minor crime or not a good location to you or me.
On private property, it should be the owners discretion. (But signs should be posted to avoid "invasion of privacy.") On public property, maybe at government ran institution.
I overall, feel that this is a GROSS violation of PRIVACY, due to the fact that the cameras are at every park, stores, every mall, some restaurants, sidewalks and every major street. I do not want to be observed, even though I am not participating in illegal activities. Remember, soon, if we are not careful, Big Brother will be watching us ALL. Please leave your input, I am very interested to know what you think. Especially, considering some of you may have first hand experience.
I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE LIKE THIS ANYMORE