Just as with homes and businesses, there are various benefits of surveillance cameras in public places. Not everyone is determined to lead a decent life, away from crime and unethical behaviors. But as video surveillance technology gets on bettering, the world still has hopes for a better future.
Even so, these optimisms are hanging on the fence at the moment as not everyone thinks security cameras are any good. In fact, a survey conducted by the Debate.org has 43% of the participants agreeing that security cameras are an invasion of privacy.
Of course, it does make sense at some point, especially when you know that the government is monitoring your every movement. But if you believe you lead a straight life, what exactly are you more concerned about; your privacy or safety?
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Besides, public surveillance cameras are only allowed to be put in places that are not private, such as parking lots or streets. And for the better, even the local authorities are limited on the usage of the video footages captured in public areas.
Long story short, let’s look at some of the beauty of having surveillance cameras on the street corners, bars, and other public places.
Pros of Surveillance Cameras in Public Areas
Improved Public Safety
This is one of the main benefits of having security cameras in public places. The same way they help heighten your safety at home, the systems carry on the obligation while out there traveling, shopping, or enjoying yourself.
In most cases, public security cameras have more advanced features than the standard models used at home. Hence, they provide seamless surveillance solutions, which include deterring crime before it could happen.
For a model, some CCTV systems have smart analytics functions, like IPS loitering detection and IVS abandoned object detection. With such features, suspicious individuals and items can be easily tracked and taken care of before any damage or crime is done.
Reduces Crime Rate
That’s true. Video surveillance has undeniably helped reduce acts of crime both in the private and public sectors. This explains why there has been a reduction in the number of home invasions and knocking of the banks.
Unless they’re highly motivated, no burglars can risk committing a crime knowing they will easily be exposed or get caught. As such, most of them will be less willing to act if they notice the particular area has noticeable surveillance cameras. Thereby motivating them enough to seek a different target that has minimal security measures.
Helps Catch Criminals
For the ill-witted criminals who forgot to scan surveillance cameras before committing a crime, chances of catching them are very high. As long the particular camera was keeping the recorded video footage, it becomes pretty easier to identify whoever has conducted the act.
And thanks to the facial recognition software and internet, the authorities get to catch up with the criminals even before arriving at their solace. As it was with the 2015 Boston bombings, which got a significant lead from the video footage recorded by a security camera.
Fastens Investigation And Convictions
At times, t’s surely hard to come by credible witnesses who are ready to testify and lead the rest of their lives in fear.
However, with CCTV systems in public places, the footage collected can be used against the accused in the court of law. Thus, leaving little or no chances for him/ her walking free.
As we highlighted on the battery-powered wireless outdoor security camera reviews, some devices even have a compact, stealthy design. Hence, you can efficiently hide in the parking lot of your mall to identify who has been jacking clients’ cars.
Optimize Public Operations
With surveillance cameras that have people counting feature, public joints such as malls can improve their performance.
For instance, they can be able to track the average number of shoppers on a particular day. Thus, making it possible to improve services with precisely matching the number of staff during peak hours. Then, if it’s the slow days provide insights on the number of staff to reduce and increase operating efficiency.
Helps In Traffic Control
Almost every government now is installing security cameras on the roads- particularly in the major cities where there are stoplights. The main goal is to help monitor the behavior of motorists, ensuring drivers don’t speed up or run through a red light.
In case of an accident, these cameras can help show exactly what had transpired without relying on the mumbo-jumbo from the biased drivers.
Furthermore, the relevant authorities can use the systems to monitor the real-time conditions of the road and or the flow of traffic. Then, send over the information to commuters so that they can know which the best route is at a particular time.
Boost Overall Convenience
When the general population takes note of the surveillance cameras on the roads and streets, there will be a smooth flow of everyday life. Everyone will have a chance to take fair and right decisions. And in the case of disagreements, it will be easier and quicker to come up with a solution before further escalation.
The Drawbacks of Surveillance Cameras in Public Spaces
As the bright always say, “Nobody is always perfect”… and so are our systems.
Despite the above benefits of surveillance cameras in public places, three drawbacks can’t be avoided. As we mentioned earlier, not everyone is ready to lead a straight life.
These cons include:
Wrongful use of the installed Surveillance cameras:
This involves scenarios where those with access to the gathered information misuse them. A good example is through blackmail, which is likely to occur when the victims don’t want some of their private secrets out of the bag.
Another wrongful use is through voyeurism, whereby those behind the big monitors start spying on women. Which then can lead to harassment and other unethical behaviors or even a crime.
Power of Doubt
Out of the percentage against public surveillance, the majority claims that these security cameras don’t work. They believe that even with the camera systems out there, the “real jackasses of society” won’t be caught. Hence, it’s a total waste of money and the invasion of their private life.
A surveillance camera that can be mounted on the streets or roads is not the regular piece from a couple of dollars. It costs big money, which would be a total waste if it fails to deliver its purpose.
Even without much considerations, the benefits of surveillance cameras in public places outweigh the disadvantages. Whether it’s schools, parks, restaurants, or even bars, the monitoring devices can still be helpful in a big way.
It’s not one or two times we have had incidents of solo gunmen or suicidal bombers targeting such areas. Orlando nightclub and Stoneman Douglas High School shootings, as well as the Boston Marathon bombing, are all terror attacks that happened in the least expected areas.
So, even when there’s a question of effectiveness, it’s certainly worth it having CCTV systems in public areas. For anyone worried about their personal privacy in such places, then you better make your private life “private”- let’s say refrain from the public.
But if you have nothing to hide, you also have nothing to worry about. Hopefully, the authorities will be able to do their obligations as well and ensure no one abuses the information from public surveillance.