Are anybody's eggs or chickens missing? In 1933, Mr. Robert Norbury faced this situation. He was a farmer and an amateur photographer who lived in London. Instead of asking for help from the police, he tried to catch the thief by himself, but in an informal way. Mr. Norbury placed his photo camera in the chicken hut; he set it up so that when someone opened the door it would capture a photograph automatically. That first attempt was a success, Frederick William, a 30-year-old local plumber, was caught in the photo. At that time, the concept of using cameras for security was almost completely ignored by people. Compared with the present day, photographic evidence has become one of the most used methods to catch thieves and solve crime. The key point of many arguments against security cameras in public is that they are a threat to privacy, but I intend to explain the reasons why surveillance cameras have more advantages than people can imagine.
More than $128 billion worth of goods was stolen from stores worldwide in 2014. Many of those crimes have been solved because of surveillance tapes. There is a remarkable reduction in theft when cameras are used. People are afraid to commit crimes because they know that they are being watched, often changing their minds at the last moment. Compared to the world 100 years ago, it is much easier to catch a thief today because of electronic surveillance.
Security cameras also help to maintain the reliability of law. Sometimes it is hard to gather evidence to solve a crime. Traditionally, solving crimes involved looking for someone who saw the incident or to process information from both sides of case. Nowadays, it has become easier because of security cameras. When a crime happens, law enforcement can access the security cameras around the crime scene and watch what happened at what time. Nowadays, because the possibilities for murder have dramatically increased, security cameras can be used to monitor those we might deem unstable. When surveillance cameras monitor this kind of behavior, law enforcement can take action to stop the disaster, saving innocent lives.
Surveillance cameras also have a connection with human behavior in public places. For example, there is significant margin for crime when it comes to driving. Having 24/7 surveillance systems around highways gives law enforcement an efficient way to track dangerous drivers. When someone is speeding, breaking the rules, or hits and runs, they can be easily stopped as their actions are on video. When people know they’re being watched, they behave well to avoid getting in trouble. And when drivers behave better, less accidents occur.
Another important benefit about surveillance cameras is that they help to maintain records. For example, there are surveillance systems established in public banks. Banks use video surveillance to better keep track of crimes against them, with cameras recording in all corners of the bank and above ATMs. Another example why maintaining records is important is the fact of procuring evidence in a court case. Some crime incidents have a long duration while lawyers and judges find out and go through all the evidence. The only way to go through past events is go through the surveillance records, helping immensely with the reliability of evidence.
People who are against surveillance cameras in public claim that those systems are a threat to their privacy. They point out certain placements about surveillance cameras. Most people do not like that cameras are placed in ATM machines, because there is a possibility of exposing bank account numbers and pin numbers. Another reason that people do not like cameras is that some cameras are available with audio recording. They believe private conversations will be exposed to other people. Finally, the critics of cameras say that their personal lives have been watched through the cameras. Surveillance systems in big cities such as New York and Chicago are pointed towards private property or private apartments. Some individuals argue that their private life will be exposed doing so.
Clearly public safety is more important than privacy. There are cameras above the ATM machines and there are cameras with audio recording. The purpose is to detect crimes, reduce crimes and establish public safety. Every day, thousands of criminal behaviors are being detected because of these cameras, and a greater number will go unsolved because there was no surveillance involved.Video surveillance is important because it helps make the crimes solved a higher number than ever before.