CCTVs: Are They Really Necessary?

For the security of a home or commercial establishment, there needs to be a proper combination of the right security system, guards and cameras. This will ensure that valuable assets and human lives are protected from unscrupulous elements which is all the more important today given the rise in crime rates. CCTVs are being widely used in commercial establishments, offices, hospitals and homes for their ability to record hours of footage which can then be played back.

Countries like Canada, the US and other developed nations take particular care in making sure that security remains a priority as they have better access to systems. CCTV monitoring in Toronto is a common sight and you would be hard pressed to find a place that does not make use of security cameras. The police also make ample use of video monitoring in Toronto and in 2010 the chief of police had expressed his plan to retain 52 of the 77 CCTVs used during that year’s G20 summit.

The issue of whether CCTVs are really necessary has been debatable. Some are of the view that they are an invasion of privacy, giving law enforcement a glimpse into the lives of ordinary citizens having no bad intentions. Others, meanwhile, welcome the use of security cameras citing the rise in crime.

Privacy issues aside, there’s no doubt that CCTVs have helped law enforcement to make arrests and keep a check on miscreant activities. There have been cases where kidnappers and terrorists have been apprehended through closed circuit cameras. Conversely, they have also helped in the dismissal of wrongful accusation as was the case when a man whom London Police thought was a bomber was shot. As it turns out, he was no terrorist but was merely misidentified.

Aside from the monitoring of crime, CCTVs keep a check on traffic congestion, accidents and speeding. This is especially important in areas that house schools and hospitals where traffic snarls occur. Many offices also benefit from the use of security cameras to keep a check on employees’ work culture and ethics.

Like all things that have to do with the possible invasion of privacy, CCTVs will continue to be debatable. However, there’s no doubt that they do help deter crime to a degree. And, if there’s no overuse or misuse of security cameras, there’s no reason why ordinary citizens would find it disconcerting to have lenses staring out at them as the objective is to ensure protection and keep the crime rate down.

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