Discuss the Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Highly Surveillanced Society in Relation to Crime and Criminalisation.
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Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in a highly surveillanced society in relation to crime and criminalization. By Suzanne Foster.
The use of surveillance has dramatically increased in the United Kingdom since 1994. Since this time surveillance has become an integral part of the government's crime prevention strategy. For example, the U.K uses more CCTV cameras per head of population than anywhere else in the world. It is estimated that five hundred thousand CCTV cameras operate within London; this means there is one camera for every fourteen people (McCahill and Norris, 2006). This paper will mainly focus on surveillance in the form of CCTV…show more content… CCTV is the only crime protection initiative which attracts 100% funding from central government, which places pressure on local authorities to choose CCTV over other measures which may be more appropriate, such as police on the beat (Johnstone and Williams, 2000: 183). Evidence suggests that the presence of police officers on the street can be more effective at reducing the fear of crime than CCTV. In a study conducted by Ditton (2000) 68% of those interviewed stated that one extra police officer would make them feel safer than five CCTV cameras. A survey of 716 Cambridge residents also showed that 72% viewed more police on the street to be the most effective means of reducing the fear of crime (Bennet and Gelsthorpe cited in Ditton, 2000: 699). The results of these studies are supported by an opinion poll conducted by the Observer (2003). 47% of those asked stated that more police on foot was the measure most likely to make them feel safer, as opposed to 21% who said CCTV (Observer, 2003). This evidence suggests that CCTV is an ineffective way of reducing the fear of crime and that resources would be better spent on increasing the number of police on the streets.
Surveillance not only has a negative impact in terms