A nation is a reflection of the sum total of individual action. Each one of us, in a spirit of service, should always strive to build the country. In such a quest, we have to examine and change the things that have hindered progress for decades and promote those that will advance it. One of the latter things is crime, which continues to plague society. We must commit ourselves to take initiatives to end this scourge. We must use ingenuity and technology.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance is a proven element in crime fighting. We need to take advantage of this. One of the biggest factors in the growth of crime is the belief by criminals that they can commit their acts with impunity and get away with it.
CCTV is the way of the future to put a dent in crime in Guyana. It will no doubt serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders. But it is only as good as the people who operate the system.
Not much will improve in fighting crime if the morals in the law enforcement agencies are not addressed. Neither will much improve if there is continued corruption in those institutions. The police force in particular must improve its image.
The willingness to use CCTV to fight crime is long overdue. It is a proactive approach. However, there are some CCTV opponents who feel that it represents an invasion of citizens’ privacy and allows ‘big brother’ government to spy on the citizenry. Those of this stripe believe that the issue of the invasion of privacy outweighs the advantages that CCTV systems will deliver for the public good. There are others who have argued that there is no empirical evidence that CCTV systems deter criminal activity.
The truth is the CCTV systems will undoubtedly invade the privacy of all of us as it seeks to curtail the illicit and damaging behaviour of some. Opponents of CCTV ought to know that personal privacy in the public space should not supersede safety. Those who oppose this technological advancement because it invades their privacy do have a valid point, but the question is: Why would anyone oppose being recorded in public if they are on the right side of the law.
While CCTV surveillance is a good start, it alone will not serve crime. It has repeatedly been emphasised that a bipartisan approach is needed to help reduce crime. It is the best gift our political leaders could give to this generation. It would be a refreshing experience that perhaps, finally, the nation can begin to tackle crime from a united standpoint.
More often than not, people spend a lot of time criticizing the authorities for their failure to deal effectively with crime that has enveloped our society. This is an opportunity for us to change our negative opinions and appreciate the hard work of the truly dedicated crime-fighters who give of themselves tirelessly, and at great sacrifice, to serve and protect us. Let us all, regardless of our ethnicity or political affiliation, seize the opportunity and join them to make Guyana a crime-free country.
The two basic responsibilities of any government is to provide justice and defend the citizens or what is referred to as ‘public safety and security’ of the citizens. The responsibility of the justice system is to punish criminals and other violators of the law. The inability to adequately carry out these functions would be an indication of governmental failure. The use of technology such as CCTV to fight crime and improve public safety should be supported.
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