postheadericon What are the main benefits of CCTV cameras?

Technology never ceases to amaze us! When the closed circuit television was first introduced in the half of the 20th century, no one could anticipate their development, the fantastic effects on our lives or people’s reactions. More than sixty years later, CCTV has progressed greatly, it has amazing benefits on our living conditions, but still people’s opinions about it are controversial. It’s rather difficult to keep balance among the need for security and the need for privacy.

CCTV is simply the use of cameras through a closed circuit for the transmission of video images. From the first CCTV in the 1950s till today technology has changed dramatically. The contemporary high tech CCTV cameras have greater capabilities and, thus, greater benefits. Of course, their main purpose is for surveillance in public spaces, yet lately many private citizens install surveillance cameras in their houses or professional establishments as well. In UK alone, there are about four hundred thousand installed by private owners whereas the number of CCTV in the country exceeds the four million. The use of CCTV cameras in the USA and other countries is not as widely spread, but it is increasing. In New Zealand, alarms auckland is an steadily growing market because of the need for advanced security

Security vs. Big Brother

Although, the numerous CCTVs in most developed countries underline their importance, still people are divided in terms of their necessity. CCTV cameras are installed in public areas, such as streets or parking lots and public spaces, such as casinos, airports, hospitals or banks. It’s self-evident that CCTV cameras aim to prevent crime, but their opponents have a different opinion. They, basically, claim that crime is just displaced. They argue that this is a violation of their privacy even in public areas and of their civil liberties. Undoubtedly, people are entitled to anonymity and privacy, but CCTV cameras are not placed on private premises, but public spaces in an effort to minimize criminality and maximize security.

There are too many Benefits to take them down

Extreme or unique ideas will always have opponents. But if people were so opposed to CCTV cameras, why the number of private citizens buying them is increasing? The benefits of CCTV cameras are numerous and multidimensional.

  • People’s psychology. Our psychological status determines our movements and our decisions. For example, it’s a decision to take the garbage out in the dark or not; it’s a decision to walk to the ATM to withdraw money in a high risk neighborhood. Surveillance cameras can be effective on two ways: crime prevention and sense of security.
  1. Crime prevention. CCTV cameras look literally over your shoulder. A study that took place in the UK and the USA in 2009 showed that crime in parking lots were decreased by half after the placement of surveillance cameras. Of course, the results could be even higher if combined with other precaution measures, such as intense street lighting for example. A large proportion of offenders would think twice before they will attempt to engage on any criminal activity.
  2. Sense of security. It’s actually reassuring to know that you can walk down the street and if someone would try to grab your bag the incident will be recorded. You feel safer getting your money out to pay for a soft drink or getting money from an ATM. The feeling of security and safety in the public sphere is irreplaceable.
  • Crime and punishment. One of the greatest benefits of CCTV cameras is not only the prevention of crime, but also the ability to distinguish the offender afterwards. The technological innovations have allowed for the introduction of high tech CCTV cameras, which have clearer image, give analytical details, can distinguish irregular movements or have facial recognition system. They can detect if there is smoke in an area or if there is a painting missing from the wall of the museum. As a consequence, they play a vital role in the detection of criminals or terrorists.
  • Working environments. CCTV cameras are extremely helpful to big industries, which can monitor the work from a control room when the conditions are not appropriate for human presence. Employers find surveillance cameras very useful when they need to prevent the possibility their employees would do something inappropriate or checking the entrance of goods, the cashier or the invoices. Undeniably the employees may feel suffocated, but they know they can never be blamed for something they didn’t do. If a client complains about getting the merchandise late, the employees would have the evidence that they shipped it on time.
  • Disputes related with money. Money transactions occur in most public or private places. From casinos and stores to railway stations and banks people deal with money. And where is a transaction it may also be a dispute. CCTV cameras have on record the evidence which can solve every dispute even in court.
  • Cameras on motorways. In fact, traffic is monitored by CCTV cameras. Big motorways and street networks use them to control heavy traffic and detect accidents. At the same time, they can distinguish license plates and, thus, detect stolen cars, or follow a fugitive’s run away from the police.

Indeed! CCTV cameras follow us wherever we go and know exactly what we do. Yet, they don’t mean to invade our private sphere, but merely protect us. As long as the high crime rates will keep us from walking down the street without looking over our shoulder, we may as well let CCTV cameras do that job for us. After all, if we are prone on choosing in favor of our security, we must be ready to pay the price!

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