Experts believe that CCTV discourages opportunistic crime, where an offender spontaneously takes advantage of a situation. This form of crime deterrence is founded on the rational choice theory and speculates that the people most likely to commit crimes believe that they’ll get away with it. By utilizing a surveillance system, the confidence of would-be criminals is rattled because they know that they might be caught or they may believe the cameras are constantly watching them, and are unwilling to risk arrest and therefore avoid criminal activity. In this particular aspect, a CCTV system reduces the chance to commit crime and deters the potential criminal, by increasing the possibility of getting captured. People not considering criminal activity also tend to stay in areas under surveillance to diminish their chances of being victimized, feeling more secure in these protected environments. The proper application of a security camera system serves to deter criminals and to be effective in reducing crime.
A substantial amount of time can be saved during investigation and prosecution by using evidence from security camera footage. Quality video can be very helpful in conclusively identifying a suspect and also providing authorities with footage that can be distributed to the media in attempt to locate the offender. Some law enforcement experts say that the use of CCTV is regarded as being as meaningful as the changes caused by DNA technology, with respect to their capacity to help catch suspects and supply concrete evidence.
Conversely, the use of CCTV in the court room has proven to be just as effective at clearing a defendant whose been wrongfully accused. Security camera footage is significantly improving the conviction rate when used in the courtroom. Once people know they’ve been caught committing an offence on camera, they often quickly confess or enter a plea of guilty. With quality surveillance footage you can actually see a crime from start to finish, this is a very effective means of illustrating exactly what happened. Video evidence is also a very powerful way of demonstrating the severity of an offense. For example, this could indicate to a jury that an assault was more brutal than the defence has suggested, thus influencing sentencing.
The bottom line is this, when people see security cameras installed they behave themselves. They know that everything they do is recorded and they will have to face the consequences for their actions. And should an individual be foolish enough to commit a crime in view of security cameras it is a very easy matter to have them prosecuted. There is nothing more powerful than direct video footage of a crime being committed. It is in fact many times better than an eye witness account. People forget things and allow their emotions and prejudices to interfere with their reporting of events. A security camera will dutifully record exactly what happens, without bias. What better evidence can you ask for? Security cameras really have the potential to transform our society and make many more of our people law abiding citizens.