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Lights, Camera, Action
« on: November 12, 2012, 04:19:57 PM »
There have been many times I wished I had cameras installed in the office, just to see how and why I was missing mail, encountering correspondence that had obviously been tampered with, or finding out about packages that never reached my hands. It can be very frustrating to suspect some individuals, but never have the proof to support one’s instinctive reactions. Faced with such blatant acts of dishonesty, I have tried my best to handle the situation the best I could, but I know my solutions have not been fool-proof.
At home, when a spate of robberies hit the neighborhood, the subject of closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) also came up even as complaints were raised against a shoddy barangay security work.
The increased incidence of crimes in the city — convenience store hold-ups, bank robberies, abduction, physical attacks — has made it important for both homeowners and business owners to ensure the protection of their person and property by installing such gadgets that serve as the extra eyes. With the low police to citizen ratio, the help of technology is needed to serve as support for security efforts of the authorities.
The need to install this particular security measure is recognized in Quezon City, where the local government will start implementing a “no CCTV, no business permit” policy next year. The policy is especially targeted for establishments like “banks, pawnshops, malls, gas stations, supermarkets and even schools,” a report in this newspaper states.
In fact, some P100 million worth of CCTV equipment is set to be installed in “major and secondary streets in Quezon City’s 142 barangays.”
The question is: Are CCTV cameras effective deterrent of crimes and reliable aids in solving crimes?
Personally, I approve of this move to help control crime in the city. I am hoping that the cameras will be durable and have a high resolution, though, or else they will be useless in identifying wrongdoers anyway. Also, local authorities should recognize that those who are knowledgeable about such cameras may be able to work around it and escape identification altogether. Such things must be taken into consideration when installing the equipment around the city.
A hundred million worth of cameras, obviously, is not enough to eradicate crime and it wrong to expect it to do so. I can think of a few more things local government can spend huge money on in order to maintain peace and order in the city. Brighter lighting in all streets, for one, may significantly reduce criminal attempts, not to mention make our streets friendlier to pedestrians.
In many cities abroad, people would rather walk than take cars, and they do not have to take a ride just to get to a park and enjoy the natural surroundings or take walks for exercise. Hereabouts, only residential villages or residential clusters are able to provide homeowners with such benefits. Other than that, people can take their “walks” inside malls.
Indeed, how can we have a walkable city if the streets are dimly lit, corners are dark and neglected, and some sidewalks are practically nonexistent? Will having CCTV cameras help in making citizens feel safer, even if they may not feel such well-being for their surroundings?
Furthermore, while CCTV cameras may capture the acts of wrongdoing, do the police have a way to identify faces or fingerprints? I hope so. A good database is an effective complement to the information culled from CCTV cameras, that is for sure.
Another point raised by Jessica Soho in State of the Nation recently is that CCTV cameras will be pointless if there is no efficient follow-through from the authorities. Catching criminals, after all, still needs the intelligence and initiative of the police force aside from cooperation from citizens.
The QC government is trying to make the city more business-friendly, and one of the ways it aims to do so is by requiring business owners to install these security equipment. It also aims to make the steps for business applications and renewals as simple as possible, which makes sense if government wants to encourage entrepreneurship among its citizens. With CCTVs in place and plans to invite investors underway, next on the agenda should be sweeping away the dregs of corruption that create discouraging barriers for those who wish to make it in the city.

Think wisely before you speak and listen intently to the people with fruit on the tree. Break down the barrier of stubbornness and pride otherwise you'll always be a part of the crowd..


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Re: Lights, Camera, Action
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 05:49:30 PM »
CCTV  is needed gyud just like dri sa akong dapit, everywhere ang cctv mao safe
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