LETTER: Cameras in Surrey are just invitation to walk away from our social contract

The Editor,

Re: "Forget Hepner’s grandiose plans – solution is cameras," the Now, May 28.

R. Conley contends that the solution to crime is CCTV cameras "as has been done in London and other European cities."

In reality there are many facts that refute that assertion. England has more CCTV cameras than any country in the world, with half a million making up its network, nicknamed the "Ring of Steel," which cost more than $330 million from 1999 to 2001.

That figure is installation costs only. It does not factor in the ongoing maintenance costs. The idea that we can all be made to behave if only we are watched closely enough all the time is ridiculous. We behave ourselves because of our social contract, the collection of written and unwritten rules that bind us together by instilling us with internal surveillance in the form of conscience and aspiration.

CCTVs everywhere are an invitation to walk away from that contract and our duty to one another, to become the lawlessness the CCTV is meant to prevent. Anyone promoting CCTVs for deterrence is most likely selling something, probably CCTVs.

C.A. Archibald, Surrey

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