CCTV, does it make you feel safe? How many crimes have been detected by its use and do you consider it to be an effective investment? Some of these questions are difficult to answer and there can never be a way of measuring the crimes that CCTV has prevented, so it was with great interest that I heard about a new technology/system which is to be hitting the market shortly.
Internet Eyes is a firm whose mission statement is:
Internet eyes is uniquely designed to be proactive in detecting crime as it happens… The general public can watch CCTV camera’s anywhere, and instantly alert the camera owner when a crime is committed. Your CCTV system is monitored Live, rather than when it’s too late. Receive instant alerts in real-time, camera specific, with image snap-shot.
In a nutshell it allows users to monitor CCTV at a location which is unknown to them (via online streaming), if they spot a crime they report it which takes a snapshot of the alleged offense taking place. There can be rewards for users who detect crime and in turn the CCTV owner gets potentially millions of pairs of eyes watching their property. Internet Eyes say:
The locations of the feeds are not disclosed and Viewers reporting remain anonymous. Viewers can earn money by detecting an event that matches the above scenarios. The Viewers notification is sent to an SMS device of the owner of the video feed. The owner of the video feed is known as a Customer. The customer will also get a screenshot sent to their Customer Control Panel. As a Viewer you’ll need to be quick if you’re certain of activity as there maybe other Viewers watching the same video feeds. Only the first notification gets through.
I probably will anger many of my fellow FOSS advocates here who I notice in the main have a resistance to CCTV and say that I think this potentially is a great idea. I am of the opinion that CCTV is not part of some big brother style state and is an additional crime fighting tool that can and does create stronger cases in court and is a deterrent to some. How can I prove that? We’ll you can’t show how many people have been deterred from crime as a result of CCTV but I don’t think its unreasonable to say that a property without CCTV will be seen as a more desirable target than one with.
The anti-CCTV campaigners have made arguments re: privacy. In respect of Internet Eyes this is to be provided to the private sector, so you may well see it in places such as garage forecourts and whilst some people may claim its an invasion of privacy, look at any shop with CCTV and you will see signs informing you of this. Of course this makes it a “condition of entry” if for example you don’t want to be searched prior to entering a football ground, then you don’t enter, it is a condition of entry. If you don’t like CCTV in shops watching you, don’t enter the shops. We live in a sad age where many people cannot be trusted to act within the law and because of this CCTV (IMO) is required.
Internet Eyes in my opinion have come up with one of the most unique and original idea’s Ive heard in a long time utilizing Internet technology.
Does this make a game out of crime reporting/detecting? Well you could argue that, however if the end result is that crime is detected and prevented then everyone wins, don’t they?
You can visit the site at: http://interneteyes.co.uk/ and I would hope (if you are of the opinion like me that CCTV is a good thing, you wish them all the best with their original and interesting idea!)