Earlier this year, in March, a man was caught on camera in New York. The police of New York has revealed the man through a CCTV camera robbing a clothing store. Before the man begins to rob the store, he removed his hat and crossed himself, then he took a large masonry and threw it through the glass door of the clothing shop. While in the store, the man robbed 18 pieces of high-end clothing (Yagoda 1). Because of those CCTV cameras, the man was caught. Along with that, was another incident in August of this year where a police officer by the name of Stephen Barone was caught on camera with a group of minorities that he suspected had trespassed. When he approached the minorities to have them stop, he said: “If anybody wants to fight or run, I’m a little trigger happy guys, I'm not gonna lie”. Rashawn Johnson, one of the boys in that group recorded Barone on his phone (Leone 1). Even though this situation was not caught on a surveillance camera, it was caught on some form of camera that had the ability to identify who the person was and their actions. Surveillance cameras are not an invasion of privacy because they protect the public, provide evidence for crimes, and allow you to monitor your home or business while you are away.
Surveillance cameras protect the public in various ways. Public surveillance cameras help the community stay safe while the people are out doing what they need to do. With the cameras placed in the right location, they can be used to identify any crime that may occur. People in the community will be cleared as a precaution. Another advantage of CCTV cameras is that they are crime deterrents. Criminals are less likely to perform a crime with cameras around. Let’s take Walmart for example. Walmart is a common store that a lot of people go shopping. Within the store, they’re cameras everywhere. Everywhere you go to Walmart there is a camera above your head. Even though people have decided to steal out of Walmart, they are never successful with getting through. Back in 2017, a CCTV camera caught an employee steal money from a blind couple while they were at the self-checkout lane. The blind couple was aware that the kiosk machine spoke to them while completing their transaction, but they were still struggling. When the employee came to assist the customer, they realized that the customer asked for $40 cash back, but instead of the employee giving the money to the customer, they pocketed the money. The couple wasn’t aware of the action because the kiosk machine didn’t give them a total of their transaction. At the end of everything, the kiosk machine then prompted them to take their cash. Still being unaware of their $40 cash back, they asked someone outside of Walmart to read them their receipt. That person then stated how they had been charged for an extra $40. The money had been returned to the customer, but they no longer shopped at that Walmart and sued them as well (Wmar 1). This incident may not have had eye-witnesses, but those cameras that sit around Walmart catches everything. The cameras were able to catch this crime, the person who committed the crime and act from there. Studies show that surveillance cameras in public can reduce the amount of crime that takes place. With Baltimore, Maryland, and Chicago acting of this experiment, crime rates have dropped by more than 30 incidents per month on average (La Vigne 1). The public is being protected by those cameras and fewer people are being hurt.
In addition to protecting the public, CCTV cameras also provide evidence for crimes. Surveillance camera systems help to identify retail theft and credit card fraud (Mann 1). The evidence provided by the cameras can be useful if no witnesses are around or if they are unreliable. Surveillance cameras can provide evidence for court cases that homemade video shoots cannot. Advanced CCTV systems can send images to the police station in case a crime was to breakout (Cushing pg.60). Surveillance cameras can help gather information about the crime. “The cameras are not only equipped with fine image quality but are capable of recording audio, which makes them helpful in recording word and series of happenings” (Advantages and Disadvantages). On October 7, 2018, the Circle K in Charlotte, North Carolina was robbed. On The Plaza, another convenience store was robbed October 10, and the circle k within that plaza was robbed on the 15th of October. With the business in The Plaza, the robber stole the cash drawer. The police mentioned the robber didn’t hurt anyone while in the process of taking the drawer. Someone who witnessed this action tried to stop the man, but he refused and continued with his plan. All three of those crimes happened between 2 a.m. and 2:45 a.m. (Counts 1). One man performed all three crimes and got caught on all three cameras. With the cameras being active, the man was able to be identified and arrested. Those cameras provided the evidence that was needed to capture the man and charge him with the respected charges. Another situation occurred when a customer was walking out of Walmart and dropped their change on the ground while trying to put it in their pocket. A set of new customers then walked by and picked up the money. The people that dropped the money went back to Walmart and spoke with the store manager to review the cameras at a specific time. The store manager was able to identify those people who picked up the money and insisted that they should call the police and report the incident to the police. The people decided not to take it that far but contacted the people on their own and handled the situation themselves. Because of those surveillance cameras, the people were able to get their money back. Surveillance cameras are useful in stores to provide evidence, but they are also useful in business to monitor it while you are away.
Furthermore, surveillance cameras can help you monitor your business or even your homes while you are away. As a boss or manager, you are not always at your store. There are times when you will step in and leave again. Therefore, having cameras that you can operate while you are away will be a good thing. Those cameras will help you keep an eye on your store and the actions that are going on while you are away. For example, “He [Elmore] also discovered that employees were giving away free meals to friends. They were also taking multiple smoking breaks and texting instead of working while he was gone, he says.” (Dholakiya 1) On the go, cameras brought this to the store manager attention and he was able to act.” Being able to monitor activity helps owners ensure their business stays safe” (Surveillance Cameras Are Important). Surveillance cameras within a business keep the business safe and the employees often work better when they feel safe and protected (Surveillance Cameras Are Important). Home surveillance is beneficial when you are constantly away from home. Even if you aren’t constantly away from home having a surveillance at your home will be good. For example, someone decided to break into this big house because they knew where the luxury things were located. The burglary took place and the person was not caught. The person only got caught because they stopped coming around. They chose to break into their friend’s house and then permanently stopped coming to the house when they committed the crime. After the person got caught the family decided to put surveillance cameras around their house. If the family would have had them beforehand then the person would have been identified as soon as possible and consequences would have been taken into action. Having surveillance cameras at home may be a costly thing but it’s worth it in the end if you want your belongings to remain safe.
In conclusion, having surveillance cameras around can keep you and your belongings safe. Surveillance cameras don’t only have to be located in stores to prevent retail theft, they can also be located in the community in dangerous areas to reduce crime rates and also at your home to prevent people from breaking into your house and stealing your belongings. Surveillance cameras don’t invade privacy but instead, they keep the public safe, provide evidence when a crime has taken place, and secure your home or business from burglaries when you are away.
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