The boom in digital technology has led to the advancement in CCTV equipment from standard definition to high definition. This means that the clarity of the pictures has greatly improved and faces are easily identifiable. Improved HD CCTV cameras have been installed in both private homes and public areas in order to ensure safety and security. There is however people who oppose the HD images and long range camera focus as they feel it an infringement of their privacy; the debate continues.
HD CCTV Cameras in Private Homes
Everyone has a right to protect their home and this has given rise to the installation of CCTV in private residences. The main aim of homeowners who install CCTV is to deter would-be burglars and criminals from targeting their home. It also means that should a crime be committed at the home, the culprits will be caught on camera. Historically, cctv camera have been less than clear, often giving blurred outlines of figures rather than any identifiable features. The introduction of HD CCTV systems has changed this blurred outline to a clear detailed image of the individual. More criminals than ever before are being prosecuted based on HD CCTV evidence than ever were using the standard systems.
There is opposition to this by people that believe the camera owners may use them irresponsibly. This is because the scope of the camera is vast, being able to see up to half a mile away and zoom many times, which may lead to individuals using them to look upon neighbours or for unethical purposes. They are not regulated which makes this behaviour a possibility.
HD CCTV Systems in Public Areas
The issue of placing CCTV in public areas has always been surrounded by controversy. This is because lots of everyday people, who would not commit crime or act inappropriately, do not like to feel that they are being watched all of the time.
Big Brother watch is an organisation devoted to fighting against excessive public surveillance. One of their main issues is that the general public are not able to see that the footage is being used appropriately and that the camera operators are too behaving appropriately.
However, the counter argument is that if you as a member of the general public, why object to being recorded in your daily activities? The cameras are put there for the benefit of the general public, not to catch anyone out who is innocent.
CCTV cameras are put in place to deter criminal activity with the hope that if criminals know they are there, they will not go through with the crime for fear of being watched or identified. Similarly, should a crime occur, the culprits can be easily identified and sought out. The introduction of HD CCTV cameras means that the images are clearer than ever, making convictions easier.
HD CCTV images are not used simply to catch criminals in the act, they can be monitored to track wanted criminals and follow their movements allowing police to make an arrest when possible. On the same basis, HD CCTV images have been used to find missing people or identify abducted children and so have a humanitarian purpose as well as a legal one.
Some tax payers feel that installing HD CCTV systems is a waste of money as the cameras that are currently there are wastes of money. However, upgrading the cameras means that the images will be much clearer and more crisp, resulting in prosecutions being secured easier.
Overall then, there are arguments against HD CCTV installation, but these appear to be outweighed by the benefits to the nation as a whole. CCTV systems have a place both in private residences and in public arenas where they help prevent crime and catch criminals, amongst other positive attributes.