Believe in the Crime Cameras

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A four-year study of police surveillance cameras in Baltimore, Chicago, and DC released yesterday found that the technology has been working, at least in Baltimore, reducing crime to the point of noticeable savings in taxpayer dollars.

Despite the apparent success of the program, I wonder about the long-term effects of abundant police surveillance on these neighborhoods. In the short run it deters crime on certain blocks, but won’t it also deter people from moving into those places? Sure, the cameras may beat back a certain number of shootings and robberies, but are they turning these neighborhoods around?

Whatever the answers to these questions, it looks like the cameras are here to stay, at least for now.



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