Hey Hey, It’s A CCTV Camera

Story Time: so, I’m wandering through the hallway of my residence when I run into the guy I’ve been crushing on for the last couple of weeks. We flirt, he walks away, and I precede to do my overly embarrassing victory dance (complete with flailing arms) believing no one can see me. Well, imagine my surprise when I look up and find myself staring straight into the lens of a CCTV camera. I didn’t even know it was there. Was someone on the other end watching me? Was it recorded? In complete and utter shame, I speed walk straight to my room and vow to never repeat that experience again.

 

CCTV Camera 1
The Scene of the Crime – A.J. Ellwood 2017

 

In that moment, I discovered the true power of surveillance. Surveillance is a strange and rather broad term that I’ve never really taken the time to examine before. It’s defined in the Cambridge English Dictionary as ‘the careful watching of a person or place, especially by the police or army, because of a crime that has happened or is expected.’ Specific. To be fair, my dancing could be probably be defined as a crime, but is surveillance really used so limitedly? Ok… so that would be a lot to cover in one blog post and as ambitious as I am, I’m nowhere near that ambitious. So, let’s start of simply with the good, old CCTV camera.

In an article by Ashby (2017), he discusses the benefits of the CCTV camera in terms of using it for investigative and evidentiary purposes. A study conducted to determine the effectiveness of CCTV in investigating crimes on a British Railway found that ‘useful CCTV was associated with significantly increased chances of crimes being solved for all crime types except drugs/weapons possession and fraud’ (Ashby, 2017). Aside from its usefulness in investigating crime, the article also mentions how useful CCTV cameras are for preventing crimes in the first place.

Uh ok… Well that’s all well and good but not all CCTV cameras are placed in particularly “crime-centric” areas. In fact, in 2014 the British Information Commissioner’s Office proposed that there is an overuse of CCTV cameras, explaining ‘how CCTV and other forms of camera surveillance can be used to process people’s information’ (ICO, 2014).

In summary, are CCTV cameras good or bad? I guess we’ll never really know. There’s the whole safety aspect of reduced crime, and the knowledge that you may feel safer being around one. But is this taking away your rights for privacy? Do we even need privacy? Is there even such a thing privacy? (Insert dramatic fade away music here because I can promise you, I don’t have the answers to these questions.)

 

CCTV Camera 2
Hello There – A.J. Ellwood

 

 

Cambridge Dictionary 2017, Surveillance Definition, Cambridge University Press, retrieved 31 July 2017, <http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/surveillance&gt;.

International Commissioner’s Office 2014, ICO warns CCTV operators over use of surveillance cameras’, Communications Law: Journal of Computer, Media & Telecommunications Law, vol. 19, no. 4, p. 108.

Ashby, M 2017, ‘The Value of CCTV Surveillance Cameras as an Investigative Tool: An Empirical Analysis’, European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, p. 1-19.

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10 thoughts on “Hey Hey, It’s A CCTV Camera

  1. Hi A.J., I enjoyed reading your blog. I thought it was great that you created your own images and had witty names for them. I thought you combined well an amusing, conversational tone, with the scholarly sources to back up your points. I always read my blogs and things out loud, as I find I often pick up little things like using ‘of’ instead of ‘off’ and leaving out little words like ‘as’, that I don’t notice when reading it over to myself when finished. Anyway I thought you did a good job and don’t mind me practicing my peer review skills on you!
    Cheers Izzy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi A.J, I really enjoyed your blog! I loved your use of colloquial language – it made me really engaged and interested! It was really engaging of you to use colloquial language combined with the references to back up what you were saying. I liked how you provided us with an insight into who you are – where you added in about the flirting – this is awesome because it lets the reader connect with you! Next time I would suggest reading your blog to someone else or getting someone else to proofread it before posting it to ensure there are no grammatical errors. Nonetheless you did an awesome job! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi A.J!
    I found your blog engaging and humorous to read and thus thoroughly enjoyed it! Your use of a personal anecdote at the start of the blog not only linked in very well with the proceeding arguments and topic, but also allowed me to become immediately connected with the blog. Your incorporation of slang conversation made the blog easy to read, however I would have loved to see a little more reflection on your opinion on the matter than just the evidence of the secondary sources (although I know the struggle of achieving this and staying in the word limit!).
    Overall, I think you have done a wonderful job on introducing and analysing the context of CCTV surveillance as a prevention of crime vs an invasion of personal information and action.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey A.J.! First off, you did an excellent job formatting your blog post- everything was well referenced, and I love that you went the extra mile to retrieve your own images. I thought it was great that you highlighted the benefits of using CCTV for crime, but then also used evidence to suggest it is collecting information in areas with reduced/no crime. It presents an interesting point on location and surveillance- I personally see so many cameras in hallways I sometimes wonder what the point is to having them in quieter areas. For future blog posts, I would recommend going even further with your research and engaging in a response to the evidence you put in a paragraph. For example, you included the ICO’s quote on recording information but I would be keen to know your thoughts on it more so! Excellent work! Loved the humorous stance in the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another great blog post AJ. This one was good because i loved how you created your own images. You could have easily gone and taken images from the internet but you created your own which shows your dedication! Again your unique writing style is something that suits blogging alot because you not only engage the reader, but you keep them engaged. May another point of view to consider is whether CCTV is effective or not, rather than whether its good or bad. For example, it could be bad in the fact that it can cost alot of money, but at the same time, it could be effective in preventing crime in a certain area. I was into this post alot but i really wanted to read the article by Ashby. Maybe a hyperlink to that article would have been good to allow you to educate the reader even more. Overall though, great work!

    Liked by 1 person

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