It’s true isn’t it? We live in a world where we are under constant surveillance, as a result we tend to become so fixated on this being an invasion of privacy, that we manage to forget that surveillance, specifically in the form of CCTV is quite beneficial- most often when it comes to preventing crime.
A couple of years ago, my house back in Sri Lanka had a break in attempt. My big strong guard dog, who normally would have scared off the intruders had decided to take a day off and was off sunbathing in our garden. Luckily, this incredibly smart thief decided to rob the house in broad daylight and my mother managed to spot him while he was climbing up through the balcony and scare him off.
My house does have a security guard stationed at the front day and night. However, they are human as well and as a result are not able to stay awake or keep careful watch the entire time. So what was our answer to ensure that we felt safe in our home? CCTV.
The use of CCTV in homes is quite common in today’s society. Crime rates are increasing, and as a result of this people are “increasingly finding themselves more responsible for their personal safety and well-being” (Rapoport, 2012).
With advancements in technology these days, you are able to monitor your CCTV footage on your phone or on your TV. Of course, my parents have no idea how to connect to it in the first place, but I log in from time to time and I think for them, even though they aren’t quite sure how to work it, the idea that the option is available to them becomes a comfort in its own right.
Dealing with technology however is never without its problems. As you can see from the image on the right, one of the cameras in my house has lost signal. This is because we recently discovered that someone had actually damaged the camera while attempting it to turn it away from them. Clearly, this time the thieves that were attempting to rob our house were a bit smarter than the last.
This type of incident I guess could prompt the question of how effective surveillance cameras are if they are actually visible to people. In one way they may prevent them from doing wrong, at the same time thieves could simply find a way around it and continue the criminal act.
Another downside to home surveillance that is quite scary, is that you are vulnerable to hackers, especially if you have installed cameras inside the home itself. The article that I tweeted out above, tells quite a scary tale about how hackers infiltrated CCTV cameras that were installed in someone’s home.
At the end of the day, the use of CCTV cameras at home can be argued as both positive and negative. Although, It can’t be said for sure if it actually does deter from anti social and criminal behaviours, one thing is certain, if your home is broken into- the surveillance footage that you capture will definitely prove invaluable in providing evidence to police so that they actually end up identifying the offenders. CCTV might not be the most effective in preventing crime, but there’s no arguing that it makes us feel safe and secure- and who doesn’t want that when they’re at home?
Rapoport, M, 2012, ‘The Home Under Surveillance: A Tripartite Assemblage’, Surveillance & Society, vol. 10, no. 3/4, p. 320