I think having the camera makes people who care about getting caught think twice about committing a crime, and those who do not care about getting caught are now on camera and is made easy for the police to track them down if needed. So overall, yes I think it is helpful for us.
Hidden cameras do work as deterrents to crime for several reasons. There are a number of places and situations where you just expect to be on camera these days and, so, people do not think about stealing there. Also, it is possible to put up things that look like cameras, but are not, and these fake cameras deter crime, without actually being cameras. Potential theft victims walk with confidence in areas with cameras, and confidence can actually ward off robbers, too.
It has been proven that when there are hidden cameras in an area, even ones that people do not know are non-functioning, it helps to keep the crime levels down because they know that they are being watched. It definitely doesn't keep some people away, but for the most part, people will think twice.
I think that hidden cameras do stop some crimes on streets and other public places. If criminals know they are being watched, they are much less likely to commit crimes. It would be better that criminals not know exactly where the cameras are, so that they will be afraid they might be anywhere.
Hidden cameras just tell a criminal that they need to change their approach. While you may be safer on a main street, the criminals are well aware that these cameras aren't focused on every alley. Additionally, having a camera doesn't guarantee that the criminal would be identified. Crime will just move to less-populated areas, or concentrate even more heavily in poor neighborhoods that are known to not have cameras.
Hidden cameras are not the first concern of criminals who wish to break the law in public places. They are already choosing to commit a crime and risk jail time. If jail time does not deter them from committing a crime, why would a hidden camera be expected to? On top of that, is it really expected that they will notice the camera to begin with?
I think once the idea of hidden cameras as being common place becomes a reality, people will curb their actions. Take, for example, the woman in Britain who put a cat in a trash bin and closed the lid, she is under police protection because her actions were caught on a security tape and she was identified. I think once people have an understanding that they are being watched and recorded and that they could be caught and recognized by being recorded on a camera that they will not be so ready to mug a man on the street or vandalize property. I am all for security cameras policing areas that are prone to crime. Think of the child molesters at Walmart who have been seen taking kids in the past. If a criminal is still too stupid to curb his actions due to recordings they need to be taken off the street and I think the cameras help. They do help to solve crimes quite often. They should also use signs that say this area is under surveillance to further protect areas from crime.
No one is going to commit a crime if they know they will be caught. Of course, a 100% apprehension rate is unrealistic, but cameras in public places will certainly raise the apprehension rate. Criminals are rational, just like everyone else - the more they think they'll get caught, the fewer crimes they'll commit. Cameras raise the apprehension rate, which raises the likelihood that any individual criminal will be caught, which deters that criminal from committing crimes. Therefore, cameras directly lower the crime rate!
Crime cameras are helpful in fighting crime because they can help capture crucial details in a police investigation. While it is helpful for individual business owners to have cameras in their stores, once a criminal leaves, their cameras are rendered useless. Thus, if a criminal managed to get away, cameras in public places could capture what their next step was after leaving the scene of a crime.
The news is full of countless examples of crime committed, despite the presence of cameras. Camera footage is often used to help find the perpetrator. But, this is inexact, at best. All one needs is a hoodie or a hat, and you have an instant disguise. In other words, they are really easy to beat. This makes them not deterrent of crime.
A hidden camera may allow the police or the victim of a crime to better identify and apprehend the criminal. However, unless the cameras are visible, or perhaps, better yet, if signs alert a potential criminal to the presence of the cameras, without giving their precise location, it is impossible for the cameras presence to prevent crime. Studies have shown that people are more likely to behave more civilly when they know they are under observation.
People who do horrible crimes really do not care if it is being caught on tape or not. They will still commit the crime no matter what. As far as cameras on traffic lights, these actually cause more harm when cars slam on their breaks than they do good, therefore they should not be used.
How could something that is not known or detected be a deterrent? If the cameras are in view, or if their existence is posted then they might be a deterrent. I think they are more successful at assisting with identifying and finding suspects and discovering the truth of what happened.
Hidden cameras do not really help deter crime in public places, because there are still ways for people to get away with crimes. Cameras only work if the weather is clear, first of all. If it's raining, a camera won't pick up a good enough picture to identify any individuals, so people could easily get away with a crime. Also, people can hide their faces or subtly commit their crime (such as pick pocketing). If a camera cannot detect a face, there isn't really any reason not to commit the crime. Also, if the camera is not effectively placed, it probably didn't even capture the crime in the first place!
If a person does not know a camera may be present, there will be no effect on their actions. If a person suspects there may be a camera present, it might cause them to be more cautious, however most people are still willing to take the chance and hope that their gamble pays off. Even when well meaning individuals know for certain that a functional camera is present, they are still caught frequently in illegal actions. Many police officers, for instance, have been caught on their own patrol car cameras performing actions in violation of their job description.
Hidden cameras do not deter crime. The key reason is that criminals have figured out where the cameras are, and take counter-measures. The crimes continue at the same pace, just the way they are committed changes. Criminals can either figure out where the camera lens does not see and wait until their victim reaches that spot or they can disable the cameras. In addition the cameras provide a false sense of security. All cameras can do is record and inform they cannot stop a crime in progress or offer assistance to a victim.
Placing cameras in obvious places with clear signage hasn't been shown to be a deterrent for crime. People still speed through red lights, jump tolls lines and any other manner of petty offenses. Filming these offenses isn't meant to deter, it's meant to turn a profit while minimizing the cost of man power.
Cameras placed in public places would have to have signs acknowledging their presence for an actual reduction in crime to take place. Once people know that areas do have hidden cameras or cameras become more prevalent in public areas, I do believe that people would be less likely to commit a crime there, because they would be more likely to get caught!
I do not think crime cameras help to fight crime. I think that people who commit crimes find it more thrilling to commit a crime under a camera with a greater chance to get caught. Additionally, the criminal can just shield his or her face with a cloth and nobody will know who they are. Because of that, I think crime cameras are an unnecessary expense that take away funding for police on the streets.