Last Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | 5:52 PM ET
Cameras reduce privacy, not crime, critic says
More surveillance cameras should be keeping an eye on citizens in Ottawa’s downtown core, says the city’s chief of police.
“I’m not suggesting that the police have a police-owned state where we maintain security and surveillance over our citizens,” Chief Vern White told a public meeting Tuesday sponsored by Crime Prevention Ottawa.
“I’m telling you that I believe it would assist the police in criminal investigations and may assist citizens who make complaints against police, possibly.”
Criminal lawyer Mark Ertel argued that such closed-circuit TV cameras don’t deliver any real reductions in crime.
Britain, he argued, has one of the world’s highest rates of common assault and other petty crimes, and those crimes have continued to grow despiteÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â anÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â increase in CCTV cameras that now number four-million.
The camerasÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â reduceÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â people’s privacy and civil liberties, Ertel told the meeting.