Social Media: A New Form of CCTV?

You have to be pretty stupid or very brave to openly commit crime in populated areas. Mobile video and photography has to be one of the best deterrents against crime and is empowering the people to make our public places safer for all and gives the police valued information to start their enquiries.

Mobile video footage that shows a clear image of someone responsible for an offence has to be excellent evidence against criminals and cannot be any different to mobile CCTV being used by the police across the country. If people are reaching for Twitter rather than dialling 999, surely it must be time to embrace a form of public CCTV, have it professionally monitored (maybe by the police?) and make this a known channel to help improve the safety of everyday lives. Public CCTV has an ulterior motive in that councils have put it in place to generate cash. CCTV generated by the public on mobile devices for the safety of the public has to be an easier pill to swallow.

We have all seen incidents played out on twitter such as the tragic murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, Boston Marathon bombing and the recent raid on Selfridges, but there are less serious crimes committed every day where Twitter could be of assistance. If you have a burglar downstairs and you don’t want to make a sound, a gang on a street corner that can be filmed from the safety of your house, road rage being played out in front of you or just to give emergency services a better idea of what to expect before attending an accident scene, you could candidly contact the relevant emergency services.

Of course there are barriers to cross such as confidentiality, reliability and integrity but surely there are more pro’s than con’s? The bottom line is it is happening already whether you like it or not. The police are tweeting asking for help with crimes every day so why can’t we tweet with a video or a photographic answer before the question has to be even asked?

Police are already using face recognition tools that will gradually become more and more advanced. Most of us have been told “You look just like someone I know…”

Some people say I look like Right Said Fred, I hate to think what he has been up to?!

This could be a problem. We often turn to technology to search for solutions to our problems but this also tends to give us new ones to overcome!

I wonder if you have ever been in a scenario where you could of picked up your mobile to help the police?

Posted by Chris Tyler-Smith on 04 Jul 2013