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Surveillance in the UK vs. Europe

Published Sun 09 August 2009 12:06 (+1200)
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The UK's steady slide towards a surveillance culture has been much noted by everyone from journalists to former police chiefs, but as this interesting article quotes from a 2005 report produced by Martin Gill and Angela Spriggs, of Leicester University, for the Home Office: “The majority of the schemes evaluated did not reduce crime and even where there was a reduction this was mostly not due to CCTV…there was a lack of realism about what could be expected from CCTV. In short, it was oversold—by successive governments—as the answer to crime problems.”

A significant factor in the uptake of CCTV is that they have been productized – there are a number of companies pushing them as a solution to crime problems, despite a gross lack of evidence – while things that we know actually do work, like funding police more adequately or improving street lighting, have no commercial advocate putting money into their promotion.