Author Topic: How do you feel about CCTV?  (Read 1355 times)

librarian

  • Quiet please
How do you feel about CCTV?
« on: February 04, 2011, 08:34:46 pm »
I have mixed feelings. Intuitively I don’t like them that much. Not because I’m too troubled about being seen or feel that someone watching me wander down the street is an invasion of my privacy. But because they are a bit of a sop. They’re an excuse not to really do anything.

We had one at the end of our last road. On it’s own sky-grazing mast, equipped with super-duper crime detecting 360 degree rotation, it could probably detect immigrants acting suspiciously six streets away. Probably ran Hollywood OS and could zoom in so fine that it could take a DNA fingerprint. Excellent, I’m sure, had it not spent its entire three years of life since installation gazing forlornly into the sky like an electromechanical cousin of ET. The closest it got to criminal activity was evidently someone in Lewisham CCTV central trying to sneak a peek up Cassiopeia’s celestial skirt.

Anyway, I wasn’t knifecrimed even once on my way home from the train station, so it must have been effective.

OK, if I was a criminal, admittedly I’d probably take the opportunity to practice my particular skill set outside of the potential radius of a CCTV camera (not neglecting the fact that many criminals are also guilty of crimes against common sense). But it’s just a case of nudging it along elsewhere. I don’t think Big Fred is going to forswear his life of crime because CCTV is making it mildly inconvenient. Now he has to mug people in dark alleys. It's dark down there. He could trip or tread in a canine nasty pasty.

Same bugbear about police on the beat. I know the readers of our filthy little tabloids love that kind of thing, it fills them with the wonderful warm sense of nostalgia, you know for that slightly over-exposed age when everything was much nicer. Rationing, world wars, winters of discontent, that sort of thing. Me, I think it’s really helpful to have the police randomly wandering around the streets on the off-chance they just happen to encounter some crime. Sounds like a plan to me. (OK, some police should be on the beat, but for strategic reasons.)

This all said, I would like one at the end of my street, because I get heartily sick with the rubbish dumping (I live by a train embankment and the bottom corner of the street by our drive makes for a delightfully convenient pavement recycling centre, and as such I’m on first name terms with the man at the council). But solely for the selfish reason of nudging them along somewhere else. In all honesty, I’d like to mount a mini-gun and some IR sighting up there. That I imagine, would make for an even more effective deterrent. I put the bleeding heart in liberal, I know.