There was a must-read article in The Telegraph yesterday about CCTV cameras.
It points out that very few crimes are solved due to the cameras: “For every 1,000 cameras in London, less than one crime is solved per year.”
I’m sure there are many other ways to spend the money that would lead to more crimes being solved.
But I guess Brits have got too used to them: “Britain has 1 per cent of the world’s population but around 20 per cent of its CCTV cameras – which works out as the equivalent of one for every 14 people.”
I remember that when I moved to Scotland, I noticed all the cameras and I really felt watched at all times, but after a few months they somehow became invisible – I guess there are simply so many of them that the mind doesn’t register their presence.
There’s also a revealing quote towards the end of the article: “The Home Office defended the use of CCTV, with a spokesman saying cameras could ‘help communities feel safer'”.
So the reason for having them is not to make communities safer, but to lull them into a false sense of security.
I think that’s a dangerous path. What will be next? Will they start publishing fictional accounts of successful police operation just because that would make people feel safer, too?