Closed Circuit Television Helps Police Catch Criminals


Police forces around the globe are depending more and more on CCTV to solve crimes and catch criminals. In the case of the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed 3 people and injured a hundred others, police went through hundreds of hours of video footage to identify the two terrorists, who planted the bombs.

However not all Americans are in favor of more video surveillance. In a recent poll, only about 40% of those asked said they wanted more TV cameras in public places.

Currently police rely not only on public TV cameras but also on private cameras that have been installed by businesses and other private citizens over the past few years. Together they guarantee that big cities are constantly observed and police can concentrate on crime hot spots. With video technology becoming cheaper, more and more people are having video surveillance installed.

Surveillance camera at Heathrow Airport in London

Surveillance camera at Heathrow Airport in London

The 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre brought a major increase in public cameras and police surveillance. Today, cities like New York have a system that not only can observe places but track events. All video feeds are directed to a command centre where a sophisticated software system can filter out crucial situations. When the police see something suspicious they can direct more of their forces to a certain area and concentrate on it.

While most security experts predict that the number of surveillance cameras will increase in the next years, the public feels constantly observed. And while almost every cell phone can take pictures there are more still images that contribute to observation. In addition, the new Google Glass , a computer that you can actually wear, makes it possible to capture images and videos everywhere you go.

There are others who claim that running more and more CCTV cameras does not contribute to a safer city. In London, a city with the highest density of CCTV cameras installed, authorities have stated that there is no connection between the number of CCTVs and the crime rate. City security officials say that more money should be spent on improving street lighting and other city infrastructure.


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  • actually = really
  • business = company
  • capture = get, take
  • CCTV = closed circuit television  = systems of cameras installed in public places to help prevent crime
  • citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • claim = to say that something is true
  • connection = link
  • constantly = always
  • contribute = add, help
  • crime rate = the number of crimes committed in a certain area
  • crucial = important
  • currently = at the moment
  • density = here: many cameras in a small part of the city
  • depend = need the help of
  • filter out = find out; make visible
  • force = here: group of policemen
  • globe = world
  • hot spot = here: place where crime can be expected
  • however = but
  • identify = recognize; find out who someone is
  • improve = to make better
  • in addition = also
  • in favor of = for something
  • increase = if something goes up
  • infrastructure = objects that a city needs, like roads, schools, fire brigades, police etc..
  • injure = hurt
  • install = set up
  • major = very big
  • observe =watch
  • official = person in a high position
  • plant = put, place
  • poll = to ask people some questions in order to find out what they think
  • predict = to say that something will happen in the future
  • public place = area that is open to everybody
  • rely = depend on
  • run = operate
  • security = safety
  • sophisticated = complicated , very advanced and well designed
  • still image = picture, photo
  • surveillance = observation, watching
  • suspicious = making you think that something bad is happening
  • track = monitor, observe, watch, record
  • video feed = here signals from a camera
  • video footage = film that shows a certain event
  • video surveillance = to watch a place or a person carefully with the help of a video camera