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Friday, March 21, 2008

Newsom Wants to Install More Useless Surveillance Cameras

Posted By on Fri, Mar 21, 2008 at 11:21 AM

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Since 2005, San Francisco has spent $900,000 on installing 68 surveillance cameras to deter crime. An article in today's Chronicle reports that a new study from UC Berkeley has found that the cameras don't really do anything. In fact, criminals know where the cameras are and just move their crime-doing a few feet away. Larcenies have gone down within a 100-foot radius of the camera and homicides have gone down within 250 feet. Only one arrest has been made as a result of the cameras. Mayor Newsom glibly dismissed the report, calling it "conclusively inconclusive," and then said that he wanted to go forward with installing more cameras because they "make residents feel safer." Kevin Ryan, director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, wants to take things a step further and allow police to monitor the cameras in real time. There's nothing like coupling a false sense of security with a real sense that you're being watched. — Andy Wright

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Andy Wright

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