"The city has over 10,000 publicly funded CCTV cameras in public areas, but only one in five crimes are solved, said Dee Doocey, a spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats political party on the London Assembly, the elected body which determines transport and policing policy for London's 32 boroughs and the City of London itself.
Using figures obtained from the London boroughs, the Metropolitan Police Service and public transport authorities through Freedom of Information Act requests, the Liberal Democrats compared the number of crimes solved in each borough with the number of CCTV cameras installed there.
"Our figures show that there is no link between a high number of CCTV cameras and a better crime clear-up rate," she said. "Boroughs with thousands of CCTV cameras are no better at doing so than those which have a few dozen.""
That's an extremely flawed measure of the effectiveness of CCTV cameras on crime for the following reasons:
1) That study doesn't even attempt to measure the number of crimes deterred by the cameras, just those that were solved.
2) The presence of CCTV cameras results in crimes noticed/reported that would otherwise be completely invisible to the public eye. These cases are naturally more difficult to solve. Thus, the presence of CCTV cameras may actually decrease the amount of crimes solved while still doing its job admirably.
3) Even if the cameras in those instances were proved ineffective, that doesn't mean the use of CCTV is ineffective, just that configuration of CCTV.
The only way to really test this effectively would be to take a measure of the crime rate before, and after, while keeping things like property values and everything else that effects the rate of crime constant.
"Pervasive security cameras don't substantially reduce crime. There are exceptions, of course, and that's what gets the press. Most famously, CCTV cameras helped catch James Bulger's murderers in 1993. And earlier this year, they helped convict Steve Wright of murdering five women in the Ipswich area. But these are the well-publicised exceptions. Overall, CCTV cameras aren't very effective.
This fact has been demonstrated again and again: by a comprehensive study for the Home Office in 2005, by several studies in the US, and again with new data announced last month by New Scotland Yard. They actually solve very few crimes, and their deterrent effect is minimal."
I operated a massive CCTV system for a security firm, we caught so little it made the millions spent on it seem pointless. Also, anyone who believes the government in a place like the US can't become corrupt and give rise to a Stalin-esque figure is naive.
When you're being watched in public all the time, it's like being told you're guilty before you've even done anything. I don't trust the police nor the government to not abuse these things, and never will. There's numerous other studies and articles like the few I posted above, I've been all about this topic for years.
Plus like I said, the police in places in the US don't want you filming them yet they can film you? Yeah, no.
In-depth analysis of the links you gave doesn't even support the things you're claiming. For example, http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/police-camera-crime1.htm
has links to research that shows that red light tickets are effective (which you claimed they aren't). The same article also admits that studies have bounced all over the place on the matter, and while there seems to be a trend that "they aren't worth the bang for their buck" it later admits that the cameras are largely underutilized and that, more than anything else, conflicts the idea that they're not useful and instead proposes that we're just not using them right.
Lets be purely rational about this and set all ideology aside. What is a CCTV camera? It is a device that records information. When placed in public, it gives whoever possesses the recording feed information about what is going on in that public area. Public.
All CCTVs placed by the government do is give the government information about the public lives of its citizens. Information is certainly power and this is definitely open for abuse, but anything the government is given the right to do is.
Rather than take positions of absolute opposition or total compliance, I think it's far more productive to consider what information the government needs access to and what information it does not, and limit the use of cameras accordingly. If there's an area a lot of people are assaulted in, I think putting up a few cameras is a pretty good idea. That does not mean I think we should plaster the parks with them so that we can watch the morning jog of well-endowed ladies or, far worse, spy on protesting/organizing activities of political groups (like if they'd placed cameras on the national mall for Glenn Beck's Rally to Restore Honor).
Sensible lawmaking and separation of powers can protect citizens from government: simply add into law restrictions on where cameras can be placed and a requirement to obtain permission from a judge in order to do so. People don't realize it but the government protects them from itself every day: that's what the court is for, and the system works.