In many cities the use of video cameras in public places is being increased in order to reduce crime, but some people believe that these measures restrict our individual freedom. Do the benefits of increased security outweigh the drawbacks?
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Band 9 IELTS essay sample
It is indeed true that video cameras are increasing being used in many metropolitan cities to deter crime. While I accept that surveillance cameras invade our privacy, in my opinion, the benefits of using them to improve security undoubtedly outweigh the demerits.
The installation of video cameras at public places certainly leads to the invasion of privacy. They capture each and every moment and as such people who are aware of their presence often feel forced to make a conscious effort to conduct themselves respectably when they access public places. While this is not a major issue, it can certainly be a nuisance at times.
Even so, I would argue that the benefits derived from deploying video cameras at public places are more pronounced than the limitations. Firstly, they make public places safer by reducing or even preventing criminal activities. This is because being under the constant surveillance of video cameras deters both amateur and seasoned criminals from committing crimes. They understand that they are being watched and this stops them from doing anything illegal. For example, New Zealand, which is one of the most peaceful nations in the world, has considerably reduced the crime rate during night by installing video cameras at all public places. Of course, increasing police patrolling of streets may also help to reduce crime, but cameras have an advantage over human law keepers. Unlike a human police officer, a surveillance camera will not fall asleep or develop fatigue while on duty.
In conclusion, the advantages of utilizing / installing video cameras to enhance security at public places certainly outweigh the disadvantages. After all, safety is more important than privacy.
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