Americans Like Surveillance

Are you among the majority of Americans that like the use of surveillance cameras on police cars and in public spaces? Are you among the majority of Americans who aren’t quite as enthusiastic about the use of video surveillance at traffic intersections?

The latest Rasmussen Report shows that most adults nationwide like the use of surveillance cameras on police cars (86 percent), and in public spaces, such as train stations and parks (66 percent), but they don’t want them installed at intersections (44 percent).

As you can imagine, a fair amount of Americans (11 percent) are undecided.

The use of surveillance cameras at a traffic intersection is evenly split at 44 percent, and 12 percent of Americans unable to make a decision.

Women, more than men, support the idea for surveillance cameras in all areas -- though the margin is pretty close. In fact, 51 percent of men oppose red-light cameras, and 48 percent of women support them.

Adults under the age of 30 are much less supportive for the use of cameras. Government employees favor the use of surveillance cameras in every situation, more so than workers in the private sector.

Democrats (55 percent) support surveillance at traffic intersections, but only 38 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of people not affiliated with either major political party agree.

More than a third of voters believe the U.S. legal system worries too much about individual rights when it comes to public safety, and fewer believe it puts those rights over protecting national security.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority plans on installing cameras on all buses, subways and trolleys by 2013, in part to stifle false injury claims. Other cities, such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta have increased the use of surveillance cameras recently as an anti-crime measure.

I believe all cities should step up their use of video surveillance in public places, both as a safety and security measure.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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