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The Santa Ramona Chronicles

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Surveillance Cameras Deter Crime

This is the second in our occasional series publishing opinions of the residents of Santa Ramona Valley. We welcome responses and will publish the best ones. We welcome responses and will publish the best ones. We also welcome opinion articles on other topics. Articles published under the heading of 'Opinion' do not necessarily represent the views and opinion of the Chronicles.

In the city of Santa Ramona, there are very few surveillance cameras, yet in other urban areas, surveillance cameras are more prolific. According to “Public surveillance camera systems can be a cost-effective way to deter, document, and reduce crime.”

Surveillance Camera and the Scales of Justice

Yet SRV does not utilize this cost-effective crime deterrent. Why? There is no compelling reason why every street, business and public building in SRV shouldn’t have some form of video surveillance. Given the amount of crime that occurs in SRV, it's inconceivable that we don't have more surveillance cameras in our city. Criminal threats, assault and battery, robbery and attempted murder are just some of the crimes this newspaper has reported in the last month alone.

Some believe that it’s a breech of privacy. This argument is not valid because we have no expectation of privacy in any public building or public space. Steps can be taken to mitigate any privacy concerns where cameras could be used inappropriately. For example, if someone’s yard is adjacent to a public beach then the camera can be positioned to ensure it does not have a view of that yard. Training can also be implemented to ensure the cameras are not used for anything but their intended purpose.

Others believe it’s a waste of money because we already pay law enforcement to patrol these areas. The sad reality is that our law enforcement can’t be everywhere at once. As was mentioned in several previous mayor elections our law enforcement is not operating at full capacity and are at times stretched thin. Utilizing cameras can save tax payers money because with video proof more criminals will be more likely to take a plea deal rather than force the courts to go through a lengthy trial.

Lastly, having video surveillance in more places will create a safer community. Criminals will be less likely to try to rob someone at gun point or grab a woman and drag them into an alley to rape her if they know that it is likely their image will be caught on camera. Santa Ramona needs to install surveillance cameras across the city to deter, document and reduce crime.

Do you agree or disagree with this? If you have an opinion about this article, or any other article published in the Chronicles, please send your response to the editor, VenusMari Zapedzki. We will publish the best ones.