Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Alley video cameras?

With the lower cost of video technology, some communities are considering the idea of installing video cameras in alleys and on street corners to keep an electronic eye out for suspicious behaviour. Is this too much of an infringement on personal liberty, or something we should consider?


Anonymous said...

What percentage of recorded public (and private) space is ever actually viewed?

Rick Bonasch said...

Article re. camera program in Chicago.

The technology, at work in Great Britain, has come a long way.

Jon said...

The technology in Great Britain has come a long way in tracking individual's movement patterns throughout cities. It *hasn't* become any better at stopping crime. It acts as a deterrent to petty crime, but to serious crimes it doesn't do anything.

In some cities (like Boston) public cameras have been installed immediately outside bedroom and bathroom windows, making windows and yards viewable to cameras that were private to the street thanks to fences, etc.

In America, we've traditionally not accepted giving up personal privacy and liberty in the *hope* of minimizing petty crimes.

Rick Bonasch said...

Initially, I think video csmeras would likely be more useful in helping to solve crimes than prevent them. The cameras would be able to track movements in a given area, which could then be zeroed in on locations where burglaries occured.

If there was a burglary around 3:00 PM, the investigators could review the video to see all the people in the alley betwen 2:00 and 4:00. With the help of neighbors, they could sort out possible leads to investigate.

If the cameras resulted in solving more crimes, perhaps then they would become a deterrent.