There was too many when I wasn't paying attention to every detail of my surroundings desperately searching for new subjects to shoot for this project. These things are fucking everywhere and in more places than you think. Apparently, no one even tracks how many closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems there are, but in 1999 it was estimated at about a million in the United States. Although heavily used in the United Kingdom, CCTV has met stronger opposition virtually everywhere. Considering events since and their media coverage, it's not hard to imagine that the number has gone up dramatically. The justification is that it deters crime and keeps us safe.
There is little evidence that CCTV deters crime; in fact, there is considerable evidence that it does not. According to a Liberal Democrat analysis, in London "Police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any." A 2008 Report by U.K. Police Chiefs concluded that only 3% of crimes were solved by CCTV. In London, a Metropolitan Police report showed that in 2008 only one crime was solved per 1000 cameras.
There's with an estimated 1.85 million cameras in the United Kingdom, which is smaller than the state of Michigan. Seems like mostly a waste of resources to continue investing money installing security cameras everywhere, especially if the reason is for some perceived security. If you're insecure enough to be satisfied in knowing some phantom crime preventing terrorist finder is going to keep you safe while denying everyone their privacy, then I just feel sorry for you. Safety can never exist.
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