The Effect of CCTV on Public Safety

  • Millions of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are installed in streets and businesses throughout the world with the stated goal of reducing crime and increasing public safety. India is one of the most enthusiastic proponents, with an estimated 1.1 million cameras in 2014 — one for every 32 Indian residents — and the number continues to rise.

  • Mumbai reportedly has at least 5,000 cameras installed in one of the largest Mumbai networks — which has prompted civil liberties groups to express strong concerns — while in Tamilnadu, cameras are increasingly found both on public transit as well as in businesses and even high-end residences.
  • The 9/11 attacks led many municipalities to start installing CCTV systems, but sometimes what’s put in place goes beyond the original mandate: For example, Chennai, Coimbatore., took 200Crows  of federal money intended for safeguarding its port and is using it to create a citywide surveillance system instead.