Why Do We Need Surveillance Cameras in Public Places?

By Lauren Romano

With the ever-advancing technology field come conflicting opinions about what should and should not be used. One of the pieces of technology that causes a bit of controversy is surveillance cameras that are placed in public. Although some believe that they should not be used, they can be an important part of society and can be quite helpful.

Public Safety

Surveillance cameras can be used to keep an eye out for any crimes that are in progress or that can be stopped before they even start. If a suspicious person or item is in the area, the proper authorities can be informed before any crime can be committed or damage can be done. In addition, the area can be cleared of any people as a precautionary measure.

Can Help Catch a Criminal

If a crime is committed and there is a surveillance camera, there is a good chance that the authorities will be able to get a viable image of the criminal. The camera footage can be used to put the image on posters and aired on television where someone might be able to recognize who the person is. Without the surveillance camera, it may be more difficult to get a detailed description of the perpetrator.

Sense of Security

For some people, knowing that surveillance cameras are in certain areas can help create a sense of security. No one wants to fear having to go into an area or feel as though she is not safe. Some may believe that there may be less of a chance that a crime will be committed if there are cameras in the area watching over them.

Crime Prevention

Some businesses and authorities may place cameras in areas in hope that it will prevent crimes from being committed in the first place. If a person knows that there is a surveillance camera in a specific area, he may be less willing to commit a crime at that location for fear of being caught. Some cities are even putting, or have already put, surveillance cameras on stoplights in hopes that it will prevent people from speeding or committing other traffic offenses.


In court, the footage from the surveillance camera that captured a crime can be used as evidence against the accused. Without the footage, there may be little to no evidence to go on and the criminal could go free. In some cases, the footage may also help prove the innocence of someone who was accused of a crime, but did not commit it.