CCTV: Reasons for Expanding this Technology in Malmö
Closed circuit television, better known as CCTV, has increased in use by governments around the world. The government of Malmö also makes use of this technology in the city. When it comes to the use of CCTV by the government, CCTV surveillance cameras have made it possible to prevent crime in public areas. The wide range of the use CCTV in several public areas is endless, from industrial areas to shopping centers, from schools and libraries to the shops around the corner. Thanks to this technology, the chance of crime decreases; In fact, Brandon C. Welsh, Ph.D, Associate Professor in the College of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University and David P. Farrington, Ph.D., Professor of Psychological Criminology in the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge, mentioned that several evaluations results about CCTV in the United States and the UK have suggested that CCTV had caused a decrease in crime (16%) in experimental areas compared with normal controlled areas (716). This was a result of the effectiveness of CCTV in public areas such as the car park, in which the decrease of crime was 51 percent (716). Moreover, it allows the police officers to focus on other areas where CCTV is not used. This means that officers spend less time on patrolling in public areas in Malmö. In addition, the use of the CCTV video material provides the police officers with enough evidence to capture criminals and diminish crime in a shorter period of time. On the other hand, it is argued that CCTV raises concerns of threats to privacy (717). People would not feel safe in the public areas i.e. there is a false sense of security. There is also a possibility that people would be more exposed to crime because they relax their attention towards crime. However, expanding the use of CCTV in Malmö is acceptable, because it increases the safety in public areas and prevents criminals from committing new crimes in these areas. Moreover, police officers will spend less time on patrolling these areas due to the use of CCTV; in fact, CCTV provides officers with evidence for identifying criminals. Firstly, by using the CCTV technology, the government of Malmö can increase the prevention of crime in public areas. According to Welsh & Farrington, the focus on prevention can be set on personal and property crime among the primary objectives in public space as an intervention targeted at crime (717). The use of surveillance cameras in public areas reduce crime rate due to the fear of being identified on tape. It can also lead to an increased usage of the public area because people feel safer around these areas; therefore, it leads to prevention of crime. In addition, it can lead security personnel and police officers to intervene to prevent crime (717). In addition to prevention of crime, CCTV is very suitable for preventing vandalism and local disorder. It provides the public with safety; they feel more comfortable visiting these areas. Vandals can be detected easily via the CCTV cameras, which keep vandals from vandalizing that public area. Furthermore, David Mackay, former project manager of the Glasgow CityWatch, describes in his research for MSc in Security at the Scarman Centre, University of Leicester, the reason for the government to use this technology is to decrease local disorder like begging, graffiti, drunkenness (39) which are several causes that make the people feel unsafe in these public areas. All in all, CCTV surveillance should be expanded in Malmö besides the existing cameras for many other purposes to prevent crime and vandalism in public areas in Malmö; it gives people confidence in visiting public areas with the sense of safety. Secondly, Dr. Thomas Murphy, Head of School of Law at University of Ulster, stated in his paper that investigation has demonstrated the high value of the use of CCTV to police. In fact, on April 17, April 24 and April 30 1999, police...
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