This report evaluates the social impact of the installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV from now on) cameras in our neighbourhood. These cameras have been placed by the local government with the intention of lowering crime rates. Participants filled a questionnaire, and this report is based on their feedback.
It’s been a month since the installation of the cameras, and they have already paid off as a great discouraging system. Misdemeanours such as hold-ups have lowered by 25%, whereas sexual assaults have lowered by an astounding 78%. People say that they feel safer and protected now.
However (and paradoxically), people don’t want to be observed 24/7 by the government. 75% of the population feel mildly uncomfortable about being watched all day, but think that this is still a good measure, while another 10% do not agree at all with this system. Among the people who don’t care about the constant surveillance, 2/3 are the elderly people (60+ years old). On the other hand, the most reluctant people to the CCTV camera system are between 15 and 25 years old, about the 64% of them. This group has protested against the system, even resorting to vandalize and destroy the cameras.
Most people in the area think of the CCTV cameras as a necessary evil, and think that their children are now able to go out without the fear of being assaulted, of something even worse. Most of them don’t like being observed, specially young people, but only a few are really upset about this fact.
The best solution, given the local response (and the fact that the area was conflictive enough to force the administration to install the cameras), would be for the government to send more police to the area, both to protect the cameras and to enforce local laws. This should lead to a further lowering of crime rates.