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We Know What You Did on CCTV: Crimes Caught on Tape

Sep 10, 2008
Closed circuit television (CCTV) continues its reign of surveillance. If you sympathize with the people who disagree with the use of video surveillance in public places, then replace reign of surveillance with invasion of privacy.

However you look at it, CCTV has had its share of successes in solving crimes. If it cannot deter criminals, then at least it can assist in the identification of criminals; this is still a very good argument for the use of video surveillance in public places, if you ask me.

The James Patrick Bulger Case

The 12th day of February 2003 was the day an innocent two-year child was murdered by two not-so-innocent ten-year olds. This murder case caused an outpouring of public outrage and unspeakable grief, the start of which was captured by CCTV.

Video surveillance cameras at the New Strand Shopping Center in Merseyside, England recorded the victim, Bulger, being led away by the perpetrators, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. His mutilated body was discovered two days later. It can be said that the video footages paved the way for the resolution of this heinous crime. But oh, for the day when cameras can detect criminal intent!

The Columbine High School Massacre

Closer to home, the Columbine High School Massacre on the 20th of April 1999 was partially caught by security cameras attached to CCTV. If a school custodian did not replace the security tapes, the world would probably never have seen the brutality with which two teenage boys could vent their rage at their peers and teachers and at society at large.

Though the motives of the killers will never be fully known, as both committed suicide by shooting themselves in the mouth and head, the deadliest high school massacre in history is one that hopefully our children should never be made to endure again, even to watch on CCTV to testify.

The 2005 London Bombing

Of more recent vintage, not to mention more horrifying scale, is the 7 July 2005 London bombing. You might have read about this terrorist attack carried out by British Islamist extremists/suicide bombers that eventually crippled the London public transport system, fortunately on a temporary basis.

Again, thanks to CCTV and security cameras, the bombers were later identified. Though some sectors call for the removal of surveillance cameras in public places for civil rights purposes, this is one case where these high tech spying devices were most welcome.

What to Do

Often, investigators will come forward with images of perpetrators caught on security cameras. Calls for help to identify the whereabouts of these suspects are also placed, which should be a matter of concern for everybody.

When you identify a suspect, you should not hesitate about calling authorities with information. You have to remember that your diligence and promptness can help authorities save lives, including yours. Besides, you and the rest of the community have a hand in keeping our society peaceful, a duty towards country, if you will.

These being said, maybe the next time you do see accessories to CCTV like security and surveillance cameras, you might see the other side of the coin.
About the Author
Security cameras like the CCTV camera have their uses. For more information on how CCTV can help you and society, visit Video-Surveillance-Guide.com today!
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