Magazine topic: 
Science and technology

Has CCTV gone too far?

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Closed Circuit Television, usually abbreviated to CCTV, is everywhere in today's society. In fact, when we go about our everyday lives it is virtually impossible to avoid it. If you take a bus to school, there will be a camera on it. When you pop out to the supermarket to buy some bread, a camera will be watching you walk around the shop. If you look up, you'll see cameras on many street corners, at bus stops, on trains and even in some public toilets. We seem to have developed an obsession with them!

In 2013, an article published in The Guardian (a British newspaper) stated that there was 1 camera for every 11 people in Britain. There are estimated to be around 6 million CCTV cameras across Britain - now that's a lot of cameras! Thanks to our apparent love of CCTV, Britain has been nicknamed the "surveillance state".

CCTV is a vital tool for the police and can help solve crimes - a notable example would be the James Bulger case from 1993. CCTV images meant that the two boys who committed the crime were caught and prosecuted. However, CCTV does not always have all the answers. Sometimes the images aren't clear enough to identify people; often, criminals obscure their faces to avoid being caught. Recently, some talking CCTV cameras have been installed in the UK. These react to movement, and warn criminals that their photo has been taken. 

In my opinion, CCTV has gone too far. As a nation, we rely on it far too much. At what point did we decide to replace police officers with technology? Many people claim to feel safer as a result of CCTV; if more police were around I'm sure they'd feel just as safe! Many schools across Britain have installed CCTV - in classrooms, toilets and changing rooms. They say it helps to prevent bullying - but surely something else could be done instead? 

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What do you think about CCTV? Are there lots of cameras in the public areas of your town or city? 


hpeaounl's picture
hpeaounl 15 April, 2020 - 08:47

In my opinion, CCTV's are useful. It helps you to secure your belongings and help them stop from getting stolen. These CCTV's also help solve lots of crime mysteries. I think CCTV'S are very useful.
It doesn't only prevent crimes, it's also there to change peoples bad habits.

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iva10's picture
iva10 3 December, 2015 - 19:31

No,there are only at some more important objects.In markets but cameras are useful because we can see if someone stole something valuable and then we can report them to the police.And the police will cache them easier if they have their picture,but it`s a bit uncomfortable to know that there is always someone looking at you,it`s a bit weird.We also have cameras at school,but only on some corners.It`s quite useful because we could easier see who broke something,so it will take less time to find the responsible one,and the whole class won`t be punised.I don`t like cameras that much it gives me a weird felling,like someone is always watching over and it`s not comfortable.

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Lavender's picture
Lavender 17 April, 2015 - 18:13

I think CCTV cameras are useful, they help the police a lot. I mean if you run a shop, you can not hire a policeman to watch the shoppers. You can hire the security but I think installing CCTV is a way more cheaper. The CCTV can not prevent the shopper from stealing things, but the appearance of it warn people that every movement of them is being caught, so they may feel afraid and give up the bad intention.
However, for me the bad impact of CCTV cameras is that they record all the things, include some should-not-be-recorded situations like tragic accidents or private action of people. In the past I felt shocked when I saw an accident and felt sorry and hurt for the victim. But now apparently I'm get used to it I don't's creepy.

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