Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Crime Cams Not a Cure-All ?

Today's British Psychological Society blog looks at a study published in this month's journal Psychology, Crime & Law:

"The new finding appears to undermine one of the key justifications for Britain's network of 4.2 million surveillance cameras: that they provide reassurance to the public. It seems that the sight of a CCTV camera can have the opposite effect, cueing the perception of a threat."

Interesting. This study was done in Britain, mind you, where CCTV cameras are omnipresent. Just take a double-decker ride around London and you'll see hundreds of them on parapets, ledges and walls covering pretty much every metre of pavement and laneway.


This year, Winnipeg began the move from the 'trouble spot' phase - cameras at select higher crime areas like the circle in Osborne Village and Air Canada Park - into wider-scale use.

So with police, politicians and even residents calling out for cameras will we get the security many think they bring or does the cycle start all over again ?


- Police Unveil Downtown Crime Cameras CTV 2008
- Fielding Calls for Immediate Action on Crime Cameras scottfielding.ca
- Survey Suggests Spence Supports Cameras - CBC March 3, 2008
- More Schools on Candid Camera - WFP April 6, 2009

The study: Williams, D., & Ahmed, J. (2009)
The relationship between antisocial stereotypes and public CCTV systems: exploring fear of crime in the modern surveillance society. Psychology, Crime & Law


Eve Ensler on security | Video on TED.com
Playwright Eve Ensler explores our modern craving for security -- and why it makes us less secure.

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