Video Cameras and Public Safety Essay

Total Length: 664 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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Cities use video cameras more and more these days to control traffic in and around major roads and highways. While some may see this as an invasion of privacy, those working in law enforcement know the advantages of having proof of traffic violations. Furthermore, video cameras may be used to potentially spot other kinds of crimes that can lead to breakthroughs in major criminal cases. Therefore, countries like England have added video cameras to airports, public areas, and intersections to promote safety in these areas through constant surveillance (The Telegraph, 2016). Still, video cameras can be costly to implement, maintain, and monitor. Citizens may also feel their privacy invaded without their consent. Is having video cameras as part of a way to monitor the public for a crime a good idea or a bad one?

The advantages are clear and lean towards public safety. Of the many crimes perpetrated in high traffic areas and public venues, many go unsolved due to lack of evidence. Video cameras serve to not only identify a perpetrator, but also show where someone has been. They can provide proof for alibis and help show where a victim was during a certain time.

Furthermore, video cameras in intersections help ward off unsafe driving habits.
People may choose to drive fast and ignore pedestrian safety if they know they will not be recorded. There have been many hit and runs in the United States where victims are left dying on the road and the car that hit them has sped off. If cameras were in place, the assailant would be identified and punished. Speeding is also a major concern and many drivers speed while on the road or switch lanes unaware of the potential negative impact it can have on other drivers. With video cameras in place, law enforcement can identify these unsafe drivers and keep them off the road.

The disadvantages lean towards invasion of privacy. Some people live on or near public venues. They may have their homes spied on through these cameras without their consent. These cameras may have the potential to be used for other purposes besides observing potential criminal activity. This is something people fear as well as what could happen in the future due to the use of video cameras. For example, use of video cameras could lead to further invasions of….....

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Paredes, D., & Wagner, L. (2016, August 8). Orinda Surveillance Cameras Violate Privacy, Critics Say - NBC Bay Area. Retrieved from

The Telegraph. (2016). One surveillance camera for every 11 people in Britain, says CCTV survey - Telegraph. Retrieved from

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