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CCTVs, already shown to have questionable effectiveness in preventing crimes, are now to take on a new Big Brother task: Predicting crime.

According to the Mail, “the cameras can alert operators to suspicious behavior, such as loitering and unusually slow walking. Anyone spotted could then have to explain their behavior to a police officer.”

This is such a horrible idea. Trying to replace good, solid community policing with technology in this way is absurd. A beat cop, with feet-on-the-street instincts and local knowledge, will do far, far more to prevent crime than such an automated system.  Beat cops “know” the good kids (who may loiter or walk slowly) and the bad kids (who may also loiter or walk slowly).

And that’s not even considering the chilling effects on personal liberties.

Alex Eckelberry