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CCTV across the city to be improved

By aniyo - 18 May 2009 19

I would very much like to know what various people think about the $1.6m announced to go toward CCTV not only in Manuka, Kingston & Civic but also Manuka Oval, EPIC, Canberra Stadium and all ACTION buses as part of this year’s budget.

I am doing research (very belated so fire away) for an assignment and am curious as to what people think – I have only found media releases thus far and agree with many of the points raised as to the necessity of CCTV but I’d value some input because part of me loves the potential for Orwellian undertones to this.

I’ve looked to the British experience briefly as well so … how do you feel about being watched?

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
CCTV across the city to be improved
ChrisinTurner 9:37 pm 18 May 09

In London on an average day you get CCTV’ed 150 times. Just watch The Bill!

jakez 6:49 pm 18 May 09

Oh, and also privatise Government owned property. This would place security and security choices in the hands of a far more accountable body, and allow for the free market (which is a metaphor for community choices) to determine the desired level of security and provide options across the land for those with different wants.

jakez 6:46 pm 18 May 09

I tend to not want to give the Government new toys as it is much like a kid with matches.

I vaguely recall something about the cameras usually failing a cost/benefit analysis however I can’t put my finger on any article and I’d like to see one for the ACT.

A far better idea is to firstly end the drug war, which would greatly reduce violent crime and free police resources. Secondly, allow for open and concealed carry (and I mean that broadly considering our present laws on carrying weapons), to give law abiding people the necessary tools to defend themselves. As I have said before, our laws do not adequately protect my fiancees ‘virtue’. I am not convinced CCTV will do much better.

taninaus 6:21 pm 18 May 09

I think some of the detail is that the CCTV that is already installed at Canberra Stadium and I think Manuka and Civic will actually be monitored as at the moment it is only reviewed. There was some media coverage after the budget saying that police officers will actually be watching the screen during peak times now so that they can dispatch beat police to trouble spots – as far as that goes I think it is a great idea as police will be able to deal with trouble makers there and then instead of waiting until someone on the ground tells them there is a problem or reviewing footage after the event.

Same as for speeding and lots of other things – if you arén’t doing anything wrong then there is nothing to worry about – I am happy to be monitored if it means that incidents like that in London don’t happen here.

Mike Crowther 5:12 pm 18 May 09

I have no issue with being watched/tracked. I do have a problem with governments pissing my money up against the wall with in-efective, poorly thought out schemes.

In my many years of courtroom experience CCTV images are never accepted as conclusive evidence in court. There is always some doubt, and some doubt always equals a not guilty verdict.

Street crimes such as assault, assault and rob etc are usually committed by people under the influence of drugs and or alcohol. They could not give a rat’s arse if someone is watching them. Likewise, those stealing/robbing to pay for drugs. Cameras don’t stop crime. I have seen first hand CCTV footage of a gang bashing in Junee gaol. During the session one of the gang (who had successfully gouged out his victims eye), turned to the camera, held it up, gave the finger and squashed it between his thumb and forefinger. So much for crime stopping cameras.

Cameras MAY assist police to target thugs or drug dealers etc for ‘special attention’, but this is only the case if there are enough police to respond to the information transmitted by the cameras. Not in this city.

Finally, (and saddest of all) whats the point of any of it when the ACT’s courts don’t work?

farnarkler 1:24 pm 18 May 09

caf, Middlesbrough, Derby and Coventry are creepy!

lumnock 1:20 pm 18 May 09

+1 #2.

caf 1:12 pm 18 May 09

It can have Orwellian overtones when a speaker is attached like in Middlesbrough, Derby and Coventry. In the right hands it’s used to shame litterbugs

OK, now that’s just creepy.

farnarkler 12:36 pm 18 May 09

I’ve just done a decade in London and the CCTV doesn’t impact on life….unless you’re a criminal. The police use it with great effect to direct officers to pick pockets on Oxford Street and also to direct officers to trouble on the tube, buses, out the front of nightclubs, etc.

It can have Orwellian overtones when a speaker is attached like in Middlesbrough, Derby and Coventry. In the right hands it’s used to shame litterbugs but if the person with the microphone is drunk…..

AG Canberra 12:02 pm 18 May 09

I don’t think they act as a deterrent to criminals. Have we seen any reliable info that justifies their existince in the city? Does a bloke that’s about to punch someone really hold back because of a camera?

And on the argument that if an offence can be recorded and it can then used as evidence – what’s the point when our useless magistrates keep letting people off the hook!?!

Qbn Gal 11:25 am 18 May 09

+1 #2

However I also agree with VYB that we need extra police too.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 9:22 am 18 May 09

Does adding CCTV really improve personal security much? I’ve never seen the stats for public space CCTV, although professionally I’ve dealt with CCTV systems used for very specific purposes.

I would have though using the money to put on some extra Police would have been a more worthwhile use, but that’s just me.

Skidbladnir 9:13 am 18 May 09

Just to save people re-typing what people have said elsewhere, (and provide some context for you) some of the previous threads I can remember off the top of my head where we mulled on this for a bit:

Whats with the burned out buses near Holy Grail in Civic? (as a background for the subsequent argument)
Police Wrap – 30 October (in reference to the earlier event, where we first have the camera argument)
One isolated incident and the camera rent seekers come out (Where Jb had a go at us for being able to preempt mainstream media having the same arguments as we already had)

astrojax 9:05 am 18 May 09

i have no trouble with ‘being watched’ – i am confident in this community (ie, australia’s democratic state) that we will only put resources into investigating criminal activity through these cctv installations and i don’t feel that anyone will bother much with watching what i do for its own sake.

of course, asio and the like will have their own surveillance mechanisms for folkthat ‘interest’ them, so if i’m on their watch list i don’t think this extra hardware will give them much more than they have.

overall, the benefits of being able to track movements of persons of interest, both criminals and victims, will be invaluable.

for what it’s worth.

Ceej1973 8:59 am 18 May 09

I can confirm that it is fact. Having attended a meeting of the Tuggeranong Community Council a few months ago at which the ACT Polic Commissioner was guest speaker, he had indicated that this will be occuring in the not so distant future. There is also potential for mobile CCTV infrastucture in problem areas, such as (to my joy), suburban streets where, gangs, speeding and or burnouts are an issue. I think that you might find some info on the AFP website, but not 100% without researching myself.

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