In the UK, home of twenty percent of the world’s CCTV cameras, there is mounting concern about its invasion and lack of regulation. “UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign.” The thought-provoking questions they ask are good ones. They want to know, for instance, why, if television programming and licensing is so heavily regulated in the UK that the same legislators have never considered licensing for CCTV use and installation? They ask also if the crime statistics touted by CCTV proponents are accurate, or if the criminals are merely being moved down the road to commit crimes elsewhere. They want to know if civil liberties are being taken into consideration, or if they’re ignored and thus violated. They want to know if close circuit television is really worth what they’re paying for it. Does it really, for instance, deter crime, provide swift proof of guilt and reduce the number of police officers needed to keep a vigilant watch? They also ruminate about whether these cameras, once in place, are actually being adequately monitored. If, in fact, there are enough folks doing the watching that quick response can be affected once a crime in action is caught on camera. If that is not the case – if, in fact, as they suspect, one person is paid to view a vast number of monitors at one time, then the cost of the equipment may in fact not be offset by the policing authorities’ availability to arrive on the scene in a timely fashion. There are many concerns for the rights of citizens caught on tape as well. What, for instance, is the policy on who sees what faces and how long those faces remain on tape and where? To what other uses and outside firms will information garnered by CCTV be handed out? Will racial profiles of neighborhoods, for instance, be sold to commercial marketing companies? If these videos are sold to outside firms what’s to keep them from using them in commercial ways that would include the display of photos? Might not an advertising agency, for instance, use the photo of a prominent person such as an entertainer or politician, as part of an advertising campaign? And if so, what about the rights of said entertainer or politician? What about her or his rights to financially gain from the commercial enterprise? These and many other questions are being asked by concerned British residents who see CCTV as potentially invasive if not regulated, and in the hands of the wrong people. They also point out zealously that the May 2000 Declaration of Human Rights, delivered in Strasbourg, confirms the illegality of the unregulated and undisclosed use of CCTV. Its Article 8 stated it to be an interference to the applicant’s right to expectation of privacy and that this interference was a direct result of its not being regulated by any governing agency.
In America today, crime is an actuality everywhere. No longer are areas of the USA such as in the farm belt, in the countryside, and the mountains etc, places of refuge from crime. Crime is no longer only found in the big cities and in inner city neighborhoods. Meth labs can be found all over the place. They are hidden in rolling hills of small town areas. First the Meth is manufactured and sold and soon after Meth addicts are breaking into homes, hijacking cars, where violent crime was unheard of only a year ago. Here are some publicized statistics from 2004: • Rapes – The highest percentage of rape is in the Northeast. July is when the greatest number of rapes takes place. There were 94,635 reported rapes in 2004. • ROBBERIES – There were 401,326 robberies in 2004. The highest percentage of these (38%) was in the South. 42% of the robberies occurred on the streets, 14% occurred in homes. • ASSAULT – Firearms were used for 19.3% of the assaults, knives or cutting instruments 18.6%, other weapons (clubs, blunt objects, etc.) 35.6% and personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) accounted for 26.6% of the assaults. There were 854,911 incidents of aggravated assault. • CAR JACKINGS – There are around 38,000 car-jackings each year. 74% of the victims faced a weapon. About 63% of carjacking incidents occurred within 5 miles of the victim’s home, including 17% that occurred at or near the home…sometimes in their own driveway. Only 4% occurred more than 50 miles from the victim’s home. We have heard reports stating that crime is down in this country for the last couple of years. What you may not have heard is that there is now a greater proportion that are considered violent crimes. Now is the time that we have to become proactive in dealing with our security and not be passive by relying on agencies such as the police forces, the FBI, state troopers and the like, to be able to provide all the protection we need for us and our families. Some of the proactive things we can do for ourselves, our families and our communities are joining or creating neighborhood watch programs and other similar groups. We can instruct and teach everyone how to react if caught in a crime and the best ways to act if we want to survive. Last but not least, we can equip ourselves and our family with personal defense devises technology and surveillance equipment device technology. Modern technology has produced some very unique and reliable defensive devices that anyone can use to protect themselves when necessary. Now is the time to take action against crime and accept some responsibility for defending ourselves and our communities and not solely relying on law enforcement. Just remember that ideas and intentions never get anything accomplished until you take action. Start today!