Sample letter to the editor on video surveillance
Express your opinion about video surveillance by writing a letter to the editor of your newspaper, newsletters, a blog post, or any other outlet. Ideally letters to the editor should be brief (150 words or less is best) and in your own words. Among the points that we suggest you make are:
- Studies of video surveillance have not found evidence that it helps reduce crime. At best, it just moves it from one street to another.
- Money spent on video surveillance gizmos would be better spent and do more good if it were used to put more officers on the street. “Cops not cameras” is what is effective in reducing crime.
- Pervasive video surveillance of our public spaces threatens to change the nature of American life. People find it easy to ignore cameras at first but over time it will “sink in” that everything we are doing is being observed by government officials. That is not what a better America looks like.
- If cameras are already up then the authorities need a plan for monitoring and measuring how successful they are in achieving the purposes and aims for which they were supposedly intalled. The authorities need to state what their definition of success is, and later share with the public the degree to which the cameras met those goals.