21 February 2011

Love for Technology: CCTV

Through a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera was the Philippine police able to figure out what happened during the EDSA bus blast last month. It was brought about by an improvised explosive device (IED) that bore through the sixth row of the right side of the bus and claimed the lives of five people.

Because of that, DasmariƱas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. suggested to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to compel all passenger buses install CCTVs in their vehicles. A CCTV, otherwise referred to as a videotelephony, can make up for the lack of police visibility in the Philippines.

"These are exceptionally hard times that demand iron-handed precautions, including the widespread use of public surveillance cameras, to fight terrorism and other crimes against persons and property," Barzaga was reported saying.

President Benigno Aquino III promised to give P1 million to anyone who can give the police a clue on the bus bombing incident. A CCTV costs P15,000 only.

“First, the mere presence of the cameras will help discourage crime. Second, if a crime does occur, the police can quickly identify and apprehend the suspects, after releasing their images to the public via news channels. The instant arrests in turn serve to deter other offenders,” the congressman added.

‘Constant Cameras Track Violation’

CCTVs can “patrol” multiple areas, discover incidents as they occur, add prompt identification, and provide clues without putting numerous officers n the beat

They can also be a deterrent. Since CCTVs are practically cameras in minute sizes. they grant personnel efficiency only physical presence of authorities can do.

But CCTVs cannot be cheap. They cannot be improperly installed. They cannot be easily discovered.

They cannot be vandalized or disabled. They cannot be situated in poorly lit areas. They cannot be effective in some instances if they are not seen on several monitors at once.

Walter Bruch had thought of this technological device to observe the launching of some rockets. It then became available in the United States in 1949, though it was only after 20 years that a city in New York (Olean) actually installed one to guard its main business street against crime.

CCTVs became prevalent in the United Kingdom as well. In fact, if the technology is appreciated in the Philippines, it is more so in that country with one camera for every 14 Brits! The edge CCTVs gave their police was valuable that the UK planted one in every town, city center, airport, station, car park and estate.

Only 3% of crimes in UK were resolved through CCTVs, though. In the report Assessing the Impact of CCTVs, the Home Office Research Studies evaluated 13 CCTVs in various residential spots in that country and found out that the effectiveness of ‘CCTV systems operate are very variable.’.


1 comment:

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