CCTV in Public Spaces in the United Kingdom

The use of CCTVs in many areas has a lot support but it also has its own critics. The installation of cameras in open areas and private area has been considered as a breach of privacy to the public. Governments especially the western countries have used these to track down the movements of the criminals according to Akdeniz, Taylor & Walker (2001). By using these as an excuse it is perceived to be infringing individual's right to privacy. The disadvantages outweigh the advantages as much as privacy is a concern. CCTV uses the video cameras in order to be able to transmit the signals to a given place though it is only successful on a given number of monitors. It is vital in areas of surveillance which require to be monitored like the banks and airports.

These cameras should be installed in areas that need tight security but not in public places as they are likely to affect the social atmosphere. The private code of ethics depending to the European Convention on Human Rights states that everyone should and has the right to respect his private and family life. This includes his home and the surrounding including his or her correspondence. It also states that there should be interference by the authority except as it is stated by the law. It should be for the interest of the national security, security to the public or to prevent disorder or crime. These rights can be denied to an individual if it seems the actions might be unhealthy and immoral, or if the activities might interfere with the rights and freedoms of other individuals in the public McCahill (2002).

Installing CCTVs was done in the public areas in order to monitor the movement of the crowds in rallies or when the government leaders were around. With time, they began to install cameras in both public and private areas. Currently in Britain, the CCTV have been installed in many areas to the extent that they even monitor the roads, sidewalks and even the squares present in the cities. These cameras have affected the social life people who hate being monitored although.

In UK, CCTV has been employed in crime prevention unit to the extent that there is a CCTV camera for every 14 people a move that has been seen as liberating and at the same time protective. On the other hand some individuals find it to be harmful and one that interferes with their social life as people have to behave in order not to be caught by the laws Lomell, Sætnan, & Wiecek, C (2003). Police are enough to maintain peace in public areas and not cameras all over the place as some people are camera shy.

They serve several social functions especially in tourism, grazing and public markets. They are mostly meant for socialization, carrying out several cultural activities and for the formation of identity.  Technology in the society is viewed as a solution to the complex problems that are experienced daily. Social integration becomes a better product of the public space as it is likely to contribute to a sense of common belonging hence the personal well being. Therefore in order for the public space to be safer, individuals are likely to deploy CCTV so that it can be used by a wider segment of individuals to undertake a variety of activities. On the contrary, if CCTV is to also indicate that the public space is likely to be harmful to the users then there will be less concern for the social public space.

Therefore the role of CCTV and public spaces should be merged so that they can fit into each other to avoid conflict of interests. This is because safety of public spaces is not just vital at the personal level but also the social levels since a space that is unsafe will be valued by few people hence the issue of social exclusion versus social inclusion.

This indicates that for social integration to be firm then there has to be a public space that is attractive, welcoming and one full of several activities hence the need to find the difference between privacy and protection among individuals. As much as the CCTV cameras in UK maybe seen as offering protection especially against criminal activities, to some it interferes with their privacy. Spaces that are unsafe to individuals are perceived as having less capacity for social, economic and cultural capital. They are rarely accessed and with time individuals learn to come up with mechanisms that can replace the problem of privacy. Privacy has been interfered with in the sense that individuals tend to be separated from the environment.

The Problem of Privacy is because of the boundary that has created a gap such that on one side lays the private and on the other the public side. The individual is charged with the responsibility of controlling the boundary in that when privacy is invaded then the public part has to come in. As for traditional thinkers they view privacy as activities that are undertaken behind closed doors and those that are not answerable to the public space Madanipour (2003). This means that the moment the CCTV cameras catch up with such information, and then they are seen to be intruding. However, the modernists tend to disagree with such thinking arguing that in society you are able to keep people off you property but not from the public sidewalks or the city squares.

When considering why to use CCTVs a company or home owners should consider why they want the gadgets. Social aspect of life is very much important and other alternative can be sort out a part from CCTVs. There are other aspects that do not need CCTVs but other minor solutions. The issue of intrusion into homes it is better for one to strengthen or repair the fences. It might only need better lighting within the compound not necessarily CCTV. Alarms at homes and companies can work very well to avoid being recording of personal life of workers or family members. Most of these cameras installed all over have not addressed the real reason as to why they were installed Kuo, Sullivan, Coley, & Brunson (1998). These objectives set by CCTVs can be achieved by the use of other means that would intrude personal life. Privacy being altered through the close monitoring seems to have a psychological impact on the individuals. This is because they no longer own that right to feel anonymous and having privacy as they move around their daily activities. This will with time become a thing of the past since the autonomy will be list forever as they get used to a life of being observed frequently.

Equity has become an issue since individuals are aware of the CCTV cameras but may not be able to know form which point they are being watched from. As a result the individuals have no control over the cameras and are left to be observed whether they like it or not. This is because the CCTV cameras trend to have knowledge of justifying their actions despite of what may happen to the crime. For instance when crime activities rise then cameras have a way of justifying them since they have been able to detect them. In case where the crime rates go down they still go on to justify themselves claiming that they have been able to prevent them through deterring the individuals.  It has been discovered that most of the cameras in UK are rarely looked at until a criminal activity takes place a move seen by many as being unfair as they are monitored throughout. This leaves the cameras to offer a forensic role in offering service where they have to identify what happened hence no prevention role is offered. However when looked at that time it is not easy to identify the criminals since the lighting maybe poor making the images not to come out clearly as the criminals are likely to avoid the cameras.

At times cameras tend to be situated in such a manner that they look at a specific point hence criminals are likely to undertake their activities in areas that are not rotated by the cameras. The cameras adopted in the homes tend to make what is private to appear public hence rendering the house to a communal aspect (Bijker, 2003).

In cases where the images are poorly indicated innocent individuals are likely to be arrested because of mistaken identity an issue that has been on the rise in UK. As for the youngsters they regard it as denying them freedom to enjoy themselves while in other cases some people maybe attacked by criminals and no  action is taken since they were not detected clearly hence the criminals go unpunished. CCTVs are very much intrusive into private life as it put all the people around it to total surveillance. The continuous recordings of personal daily activities have got its advantages and advantages Pawson & Tilley (1994). It is essential for people to consider using these gadgets or not as it might turn out to be of more harm than good. Before taking CCTV gadget in private areas like homes one should consider its benefits not only security issues but should also include intrusion of personal life. Individuals installing these gadgets should consider other solutions if the only problem is security.  Problems of security might be out poor lighting which only needs improved lighting and not CCTVs.

With dependency there is social exclusion such that the already vulnerable population as they excessive social control of the population Starmer, Strange & Whitaker (2001). This leaves the role of the cameras to appear to be ambiguous since while the government considers its role in curbing crime to be on the increases, the citizens view this as a hindrance to their freedom.  Most citizens would prefer that the cameras be placed inside the buildings and that those that are placed outside be in areas that are seen to be risky and need attention. In the mid 1980s there was a decline in the retail consumption in the cities hence need to come up with measures to curb insecurity.

Since the citizens are in need for their privacy, the public space is likely to lose meaning with time as individuals may prefer to stay in their homes to avoid the extensive monitoring. This means that activities in the city are likely to decrease in speed Von Hirsch (2000). Such monitoring tries to depict everyone as a suspect a move that may not be accepted by many. The lack of regulation for these operations has been proven in the reluctance depicted by the courts on the issue whether the public also has its demands on the issue of privacy in the public space. The court argues that the cameras are meant to protect people and not places. The courts did not agree to the fact that the cameras in public be regarded as an informal way of police search. This meant that citizens had little control over this.  

As much as security should be considered it should not supersede importance of privacy. It cannot be denied that we expose some privacy when we leave our homes but it should be remembered that there is need to still have privacy even when on the streets or sidewalks (Farrell, Aubrey, & Coulomb, 2004). The problem comes in on how to identify the interests that are likely to be harmed in a case where there is absence of privacy. Privacy ought to be treated as a civil liberty where the individuals are able to manage their own boundaries in different but interlocking social spheres. Most social contexts undertaking in the public spaces tend to overlap each other while one is expected to respond to different situations while maintaining a given level of intimacy. Therefore when subjected to given privacy conventions, they are able to exercise a given control over the boundaries that are around them in the different spheres with which they will be able to respond to the demands of others.

People find it very important to respond o demands that surround them without any external interference like being monitored every time.  Every one needs to maintain personal autonomy in dealing with his or personal issues and not to be monitored by cameras in public areas. Individuals will be able to acknowledge the different levels of protection so as to fit the several categories of activities (Jutras, 2003). Privacy for individuals will be judged on the basis that an individual is able to control those with whom he shares the space with so that they are able to behave in accordance with that space.

There are many factors to consider before taking a CCTV as a solution at home or in companies. The first factor to be considered is how the organization will be using the images. Socialism should be free and if it is realized that whoever is behind the camera is not observing his code of ethics then there will be less socializing in these social areas Flint (2004).  The images should be stored and used according to law. There should be abuse of privacy at home or public places. These pictures should only be after consultation with the concern party or under legal aspect. There should be a clear definition on who will take the legal responsibility of data collection according data protection act.

CCTVs have restricted the freedom of people to socialize states (Fenwick, 2000). Everyone at public places just wonders whether he or she is being recorded. As much as it is being insisted on security grounds not all places should have such gadgets. Homes with such cameras should have a family ascend not only one individual. People will always want freedom when socializing and it will be very hard for them to feel that freedom if they are front of cameras. It should be considered that some families have got security guards and inclusion of CCTVs will only expose how the compound is set up. Camera operators should have some restrictions while operating them as some private pictures have found their way into the public. Security companies offering these solutions should be able to undertake the initiative of training their workers on the importance of privacy.

In United Kingdom the only solution they have to solve disorder in public areas is CCTVs. This idea is very good to some extend but it has its impact on the public. According to the study it has been proven that it has reduced crimes in congested areas Norris & Armstrong (1999). This cameras keeps surveillance to everyone, this makes certain individuals who are not criminals to worry. In UK the use surveillance cameras have been strengthened by the use of legislation of laws. This locks out the public who are mostly affected by these cameras and it is very hard for them to reject it. This surveillance has been re-energized by the use of modern technology, cameras have been introduced which are very small to be noticed. These cameras have condemned by European Convention on human rights.  Some courts in UK have constantly rejected the use of CCTVs images as evidence in court. Some courts claim some pictures are not clear as other claim of to be animated.  These are some of the setbacks that the government has encountered while implementing their laws. The government plays a bigger role in strengthening the law unto the public because law is above privacy.

The private code of ethics depending to the European Convention on Human Rights states that everyone should and has the right to respect his private and family life. This includes his home and the surrounding including his or her correspondence. It also states that there should be interference by the authority except as it is stated by the law. It should be for the interest of the national security, security to the public or to prevent disorder or crime. These rights can be denied to an individual if it seems the actions might be unhealthy and immoral, or if the activities might interfere with the rights and freedoms of other individuals in the public.

Citizens have right to know why they are being filmed or recorded. When recordings are being done at home it is better if they know where the cameras are situated. Most of the people according to the research are not aware of the positioning of the cameras. It should not be a secret like it in companies, shopping malls, banks and other institutions. When installing these cameras it is better for the community at large to be aware of them.

Advantages of CCTVs to the public and to the individuals

The most important use of CCTVs is the security reason of it. It helps in recording big crimes like terrorism to minor crimes like vandalism. In search environment there will be a lot of social cohesion of security in the area according to Fitzpatrick & Taylor (2001). People tend to socialize a lot in safe places than those areas which are insecure. CCTVs have been used to provide a technical solution to security problems. These cameras have made both the public and private spaces safer as all the people using these spaces know the importance of their existence. It is easier for authorities to locate those who might cause disorder among the public. Some cars have these cameras installed in them, this helps in tracking them when they are stolen or hijacked.  These cameras can be used to detect criminal acts from happening. The recordings can be used to reinforce security in areas where there were loopholes. It is easy for the security personnel to use the recorded activities in coming up a solution to security issues that might affect the public and private security.

CCTVs have been used to control the public from some unhealthy and immoral behaviors in public areas. Many people would do their dirty activities in the presence of children. Social places where people meet discuss their issues are very safe when cameras are safe. These activities have reduced since introduction of CCTVs in these areas. Some wicked people could engage in weird activities without regarding who is around them, this could impact the society negatively. It important that these CCTVs not only security issues but community ethics.

CCTVs have reduced corruption activities in the organizations. Organizations have cameras put in place to monitor the ethics of workers within the company's organization. Corruptions among workers have been reduced since they are not sure whether they are being recorded or not. In addition to corruption immoral activities in the offices have also reduced McCahill & Norris (2002). In the past years offices could harbor immoral guys who were carrying their activities in their respective offices but it has been reduced by the use of CCTVs.

The use of CCTVs has helped in reducing workers harassment in places of work. Workers are not being bullied as it used to be in the past. It has been reduced by the prosecution of individuals after the evidence was retrieved these CCTVs. Unruly bosses have been prosecuted and fined for their activities by the use of CCTVs.

Sexual harassment has been reduced to by a big number. The recordings about what happens in the offices have greatly reduced the molestations that used to occur in offices. Evidence has been has been produced from cameras positioned in the offices and some workers record this activities on their phones. Most of these sexual harassment suspects have been surprised on how some evidence has been collected. It helps those who cannot protect themselves against such abuses. CCTVs have also been used in getting the root cause of some conflicts like domestic wars or fights in places of work. Domestic wars have been reduced due to these recording in some homes states Bourdieu (1986). Personalized CCTV can help doctors in monitoring their patients who might need close supervision. Cameras have been used to monitors those in rehabilitation centers to ensure they follow instructions given to them. CCTVs have improved medication and treatment in hospitals. Cameras have used in recording behaviors of the patients and their reaction to medication.

Disadvantages of CCTV

The most known disadvantage is the infringement of personal privacy. These cameras record all the happenings in home and public areas. It is very hard to control what to be recorded and what not to be recorded. Private affairs have found their way to the public due to poor handling of the information among the security personnel. Recordings especially homes have led to misunderstanding among the family members. The cameras have been introduced almost everywhere in some companies limiting or restricting workers to stay calm without any jokes that are used to motivate workers.

These cameras cannot be used to fight criminals because they are positioned at one place. The positioning of cameras is the biggest setback in these technologies. After the criminals have noticed where the cameras are positioned it is easier to use alternative routes. Security personnel have relaxed and they have the CCTVs will cater for everything concerning the security. These CCTVs have made the police to reduce the several patrols that used to exist. Cameras can be broken by the masked criminals leading to insecurity. Alarms are better than cameras as far as manipulation is concern. It is very hard to manipulate alarms as it alerts everyone in the surrounding unlike cameras there is only one person in the control room who will witness.

Cameras are subjected to the latest technology like animation and cannot be trusted by courts. The advancement in technology has made it hard for judges to accept the pictures as an evidence to pin down the suspects concluded Al-Homoud &Abu-Obeid (2003). Pictures can be eliminated from the systems by the click of mouse. This evidence cannot be trusted as some of the motion pictures are never clear. The government should use the latest cameras to be able to capture clear pictures. Technologies always have a weakness and if the criminals learn how to operate the cameras it will be worse.

The freedom people fight for at place of work or home will not be achieved. Workers in workplaces will always be at peace if not monitored and it will lead to having a good environment for workers. It is very easy for them to motivate each other by singing at place of work, with CCTV cameras around they will not feel free to do so. Many managers will not tolerate that because they will see it from a different perspective.