City Government, City Life, College Town Life, Crime, London, Madison WI, Police, State Street, Surveillance Cameras, United Kingdom, WISC-TV, WISCONSIN

I’ll Be Watching You

Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
Ill be watching you

STING “I’ll Be Watching You” (Feat, The Police)

So it begins, the constant eyes watching our every move as we make our way to and from work or play. The authorities are putting up the first security cameras in my neighborhood. It will be set up at the bottom of State Street according to reports from WISC-TV Channel 3. Police officers will be able to monitor the feed from their patrol cars.

I don’t know how to feel about this Orwellian touch of Big Brother intrusion into the daily lives of our citizens. Part of me hates it because…well, because I’m a liberal and I’m supposed to hate any intrusion of the government into my privacy. I don’t want to live in a world where we’re under constant surveillance by the authorities.

But To be honest with you, I’m worried sick about the crazy, awful stuff that has been going on in my neighborhood out on the streets after dark. I’m scared to walk the streets after dark without an escort. And there are all kinds of people out and about on the well lit streets in my neighborhood after dark so it’s not like I’m going off into some dark alley somewhere.

Heck, I’m almost scared to scurry across my courtyard to the grocery store and back without an escort. Someone got mugged in MY COURTYARD late at night (actually in the wee hours of the morning) not too long ago! But they were flashing cash, having stopped at the ATM. I’m not that dumb. But still…

I heard the horrified screams of the victim of one of the recent rapes from the safety of my apartment earlier this spring. It happened two blocks away from me. I heard her terror and her pain. I called 911 and then I listened to it happen and felt awful because I couldn’t help that victim any more than I already had.

I’m having a hard time finding a solid reason why it isn’t a good thing to have those cameras there on State Street. I mean, seriously, if we had the cash we could put a police officer on those same street corners 24/7 watching for the same things they are watching for with the cameras. It’s a public place, haven’t you already given up some of your rights to privacy by walking out your front door?

The Bobbies in London are going to be wearing helmets with cameras soon. The UK already has surveillance cameras everywhere, now their policemen are going to be filming every step they take. Bobbies doing double duty so to speak.

It’s a sad comment on the break down of society that we have to even think about taking such steps as putting surveillance cameras up because we don’t have enough manpower to keep track of the criminal element amongst us and protect ourselves from them much less bring them to justice. It may be Orwellian but the question has to be raised:  Don’t we have too many missing persons and too many unsolved murders in this town to sit here and be opposed to surveillance cameras just on principal?

Damn, it hurts to say that! This could be a very slippery slope we are starting down.

B

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