Too the millions of residents of Britain, is not news that for many years, they have been monitored by millions of surveillance cameras. A few years back, a well reputed publisher from Reuters went on to state that it is highest surveillance country in the entire globe. Statistics were even as precise to say that there is roughly one camera to every fourteen people in Britain, a shocking number to many. Though the British we warned of such surveillance practices, no one thought it was this severe, with so many million cameras.
With the current events unfolding in Britain, it is very clear to the government that surveillance is not enough to keep violent protestors off the streets. Reports estimated that over one thousand British residents were arrested due to the recent riots, while the majority of them were residents of London. Due to the sheer totality of the riots, and the great number of rioters, authorities have yet to have the opportunity to look through the recordings. But when the time comes to do so, the effectiveness of these surveillance cameras will either be proven, or disproven. The real question is, will these millions of cameras assist authorities in cracking down on the perpetrators? Only time will tell.
Now, obviously, the British government is now considering two possible outcomes after the surveillance videos are reviewed. The first outcome will be that these surveillance cameras will prove to be extremely helpful in providing proof to prosecute the rioters and looters. And hopefully, in the long run, the use of this sort of evidence, and the notion to the residents of Britain that they are being watched, will deter such riots from occurring in the future.
Likely, if outcome one occurs, in which the surveillance is proven to be successful and useful to the authorities, many other neighboring nations may begin to follow with a similar surveillance system. Needless to say, this may cause an uproar among activists for privacy.
The second possible outcome is that these recordings and such will be of no use to the authorities, as the sheer number of rioters makes it nearly impossible for authorities to carry out successful prosecution against all of them.
Obviously, if this sort of video surveillance program is not working for the British, the system as a whole needs to be reanalyzed. If it did not work this time, in both deterring rioters, and prosecuting the perpetrators, what makes them so sure their system will work next time? This is a question only they can answer, and one that they will likely have to answer.
These surveillance cameras invade the privacy of millions every day, and if they are not proving to be of use in deterring such rioters and looters, their effectiveness is surely going to be put under question by activists and the common British people.
Will 24/7/365 Video Surveillance of all Public Areas Happen In The United States?
Although this hasn’t taken place widespread in the United States as yet, video surveillance are being used more by small towns and mid-sized communities across the USA as police borrow the crime-fighting tool from big metro areas like New York City. Usually starting with the best intentions of reducing traffic violations for public safety and slowing growing into yet another society under video surveillance.
Lafayette, Ind. (population 65,704): The city has about 15 cameras and wants at least 30 more, Police Chief Don Roush says. The cameras helped solve a 2008 homicide, he says.
Williamsport, Pa. (29,304): The city is seeking bids for a camera system. Mayor Gabriel Campana says he wants them in residential areas “where we’ve had challenges. … My No. 1 concern is public safety.”
Salisbury, Md. (28,327): Police are advising downtown property owners who want cameras, says Allan Hope of Urban Salisbury, an economic development group. “There is a groundswell” of support, Hope says, and cameras could be in place this summer.
Vineland, N.J. (59,198): The 23 video surveillance cameras and seven other cameras that scan license plates to identify vehicles involved in crimes were bought with $200,000 in state grants, says Mayor Robert Romano. “People had the perception that downtown wasn’t safe, and perception becomes reality if you don’t keep it in check,” he says. “This makes people feel safer.”