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A seductive, but ineffective idea

September 25, 2007

Sometimes ideas are so powerful and iconic, that the power drowns out questions about effectiveness.

A great example is the CCTV camera in London.

Cameras are literally everywhere and appear to provide citizens with greater security. However, if you dig a little deeper, you discover the CCTVs don’t seems to be effective as it might first appear.

Despite the presence of 10,000 cameras in the city, 80% of crimes remain unsolved.

Analysis of clear-up rates across different neighborhoods shows the presence of cameras don’t impact the rate.

Be careful, ideas can be seductive and shiny, but we always need to be asking ourselves
the question about impact, effect and challenge everyone to understand if they are solving the real problem.

Interestingly, with the CCTV camera, the desired political goal might be to provide the illusion of safety.

Via Tom Hume

Posted by Ed Cotton

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