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ABC news at midday. This program is captioned live THEME MUSIC to Big Ideas Extended Mix Hello and welcome I'm Tony Jones. place fixtures on our streets, Cameras are fast becoming common our public transport and even in our workplaces. and effective crime reduction tool Some argue cameras are a necessary

stopping results people claim? but do they really get the crime with no real gain for society? Or do they infringe on our privacy argue for and against the proposal Debaters gathered at IQ2 recently to "Better more cameras than crime." Starting the case for the affirmative Crime Reduction Program Peter Homel, Research Manager for the

Australian Institute of Criminology. of the research is clear about is Now one thing that Criminological part of deterring crime events that surveillance is an important investigating them. and a critical factor in successfully So I guess the question is, fulfilling these functions? just how effective CC TV is in What does the evidence tell us? Well, let me explain. Not surprisingly, CC TV systems in the UK given the proliferation of public CC TV as a crime reduction measure much of the work on the impact of comes from there. undertake useful evaluation work. But it is not the only place to

good studies from Australia, There are some heard about some of it. which we have all just we can also use. The USA and Europe from Cambridge University, However, Professor David farrington

Brandon Welsh and Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts from the effectiveness of CC TV. have done the best summary of the

rigorous meta-analysis methodology They have done this using a to detail, you'll be blessedly something I am not going to go into you'll be blessedly pleased to hear to detail, high standards for scientific but it is a technique that sets very validity of evaluations, include particular studies even in terms of whether or not to and their analysis. criminologists argue that In fact, many academics meta- analytical studies are too the methodology used for these the menthol used for these meta-analytical studies are too high. So that gives some indication of the include studies in their work. standards they have been using to Welsh and Farrington's analysis Now, the best known of world involve 44 studies from around the

standards for inclusion. that met their rigorous The conclusions were: significant decrease in crime. That CC TV caused a small but comparable control areas. in experimental areas, compared with That reduction was around 16%. That was significant but not large. crime in car parks, CC TV is most effective in reducing target of the intervention. where motor vehicle crime is the down by around 50%. And in that case it was generally are more effective than in other And it appears that UK CC TV systems those in other parts of the world. are generally more effective than the more common uses of CC TV But this is probably a function of in car parks itself and themselves. effective schemes in car parks They went onto observe that the

appeared to have been most effective because firstly in all the schemes, interventions, CC TV was combined with other fencing and security personnel. such as improving lighting, Also camera coverage was extensive to effectiveness. and this factor was directly related CC TV in these settings And thirdly, the purpose for using was extremely clear. the incidents of motor vehicle theft. That is, they were trying to reduce In other words,

reduction measure it wasn't a general purpose crime unspecified crime reduction effects. intended to have a multitude of Other work from the UK also shows other forms of inquisitive crime that CC TV can be effective with

with limited control and and access and that it also works best in areas points, such as entrances and exits. studies, both here and overseas, What is also clear from a number of tool for preventing is that CC TV is not an effective violent or impulsive offending. this is hardly surprising, Now when you think about it of anti-social or violent behaviours as we have no doubt all seen examples officer sometimes or even directed occurring right in front of a police at a police officer camera did not act as a deterrent so it is hardly surprising that CC TV in that situation. on anti-social behaviour seems low, However, while the deterrent effect

assisting authority to respond it does appear to have value in support investigation and prosecution quickly to dangerous behaviour and to should it eventuate.

finding, Which brings me to another important successful research suggests that CC TV is most at reducing or solving crime when it has an active police interest. That is they provide a surveillance information to inform the setting up of the system, that they are involved in the active monitoring of the system and that they use the evidence that it can provide. And it might surprise you to know, that in many cases, this does not happen. These might seem like self evident facts, but the recent work of the institute has shown that these factors are critical to achieving the success of CC TV. Now let's just go back to England. Let's think about where CC TV came from in the English example.

Which is so often quoted and we'll hear about today. It was actually developed as a resource for terrorism prevention,

in the early 1990s with the IRA bringing their bomb attacks on shore to London. Now, what they did was to introduce a system across London which was supported by this new technology called Number Plate Recognition. I won't go into detail about how that works, but one of the interesting side effects of that

was the introduction of the congestion charging system which relies upon the number plate recognition

and the network of CC TVs systems in London to actually have their effect and to work. Has it produced a benefit for the people of the UK? And in London in particular? Yes it has. The average speed of vehicles in BELL RINGS London at that time was 9 miles an hour. It's now improved. So thank you.

APPLAUSE David Weisbrot Thank you As that former great American Vice President Dan Quail once said - "Before I begin speaking, I would just like to say a few words." And since the St James Ethics Centre is hosting this debate I feel like I would start with a few personal disclosures. First, I wasn't the initial choice of the organisers to kick off the debate for the against side, you were meant to be hearing the dulcet tones of Miranda Devine, but unfortunately Miranda is overseas this week and I was a late ring in. So I know some of you will be very disappointed.

Some even crushed. But I have been doing my best top channel my inner Miranda. And I hope that that will come out. Second, and this may be a bit unfair to the other speakers, but these are issues I have been grappling with for decades. One of my earliest memories, probably four or five, Sitting on the knee of an elderly relative who was reminiscing about the good old days, as they want to do, and he said, you know Dave, when I was a boy your age Mamma would send me down to the corner shops with a dollar and I would come back with five pounds of potatoes, two loaves of bread, three pints of milk and a dozen eggs. you can't do that now. And do you know why? And being a bright young kid I said "Inflation?" And he said, "No!" "Too many damn security cameras!" LAUGHTER And finally,

for those of you who are planning to vote against the proposition, Do you see any irony in the fact that this is being video taped? Just thought I should mention. I've spent most of the afternoon trying to pixelate my face. but as you can see I was only partially successful. LAUGHTER There are powerful reasons of principal not least the affirmation of human dignity to oppose the establishment of the surveillance state. And likewise excellent practical reasons to pose this development privacy is not a middle class affectation. Every vision of totalitarian society produced or sometimes even promoted by our culture is premised on the crippling laws of privacy. Think, for example, of Jeremy Bentham's panopticon society, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, of course George Orwell's classic 1984, Solzhenitsyn's The Cancer Ward. Francis Ford Coppola's brilliant film "The Conversation" privacy is a vital precondition for free speech, free assocication, dissent and liberty. That's why it is opposed to Burmese

North Korean dictators, Zimbabwean dicators and Dick Cheny. LAUGHTER The idea that a person's home is his castle has been around as long as at least the magnacarta and a protection against government sanction

home invasion, was a part of the American Bill of Rights. In interpret ting this guarantee the US Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis wrote in 1928 "the makers of our constitution undertook to secure conditions favourable to the pursuit of happiness. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred as against the government the right to be let alone. The most comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by civilised people. After the phoney crisis manufactured by the Nazis in 1933, with the burning of the Reichstag, Hitler's first act, the February 28 Decree

was to suspend seven sections of the german constitution Abrogating a number of essential civil liberties including expressly the right to privacy. It was precisely the horror of the subsequent Nazi holocaust that led the framers of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt and others and re produced in the international cover note on civil political rights in 1966 to again to exclude an express right to privacy. And for all their Orwellian intrusion,

cameras are actually very poor at policing. And they promote lazy and uncreative and not surprisingly unthinking

policing. Fixed cameras are fabulous for revenue, but they do little for promoting safety.

A single well-marked police car cruising up and down a main road and a couple of old fashioned policemen wandering up and down the beat

do more than a thousand surveillance cameras. Can Christine Nixon really convince us that what we need as a community

is fewer police or paparazzi? LAUGHTER

now unless those boats off the West Australian coast that so terrified Julia Gilliard are carrying the Kardashians and the Hilton sisters- I think not. My colleague and distinguished Criminologist, Paul Wilson. And my learned Junior, Julian Burnside LAUGHTER will soon provide you with more damning evidence of the practical ineffectiveness of Nikkon policing.

but lets turn back to the issue under actual consideration "Better more cameras than more crime." Like, that's actually the question? Exactly what sort of definition of crime does that suggest? Would more cameras have done anything about the grotesque and greedy behaviour leading to the Global Financial crisis, that wiped off trillions of dollars of debt from share markets?

Added trillions of dollars of public debt to government balance sheets and cost millions of largely innocent victims their homes and life savings? So are we really talking about a camera in every corporate board room? And we know that domestic violence is unfortunately prevalent in Australia and that the overwhelming number of homicide victims are killed by people they know, and maybe even loved.

So we are now talking about a police camera in every bedroom. Well revenue raising I can see improving. And how about all that expense account fiddling and outrageous miss-use of public funds that occurs in the UK parliament Thankfully, that could never happen here. LAUGHTER talking about A police camera in every office and meeting room in Parliament house? I'm almost starting to talk my way onto your side. And though we have positive examples of people behaving beautifully, when they know the cameras are on them. big brother contestants, people robbing seven 11s All those lovely individuals profiled on Crime Stoppers. All those people who post those "I'm so wasted and only partly clothed" pictures of themselves on social networking sites. LAUGHTER And Rugby League Players. to the extent I've not included them already... LAUGHTER Now, having chaired a major National enquiry at the ALOC into privacy nothing annoys me more than the hypocritical nonsense we get from some of the media especially those that employ paparazzi by the thousands that in the age of the internet, privacy is dead. Supposedly.

And amazingly they often quote with approval,

this bit of withering cynicism, from microsystems CEO Scott McNally "Privacy is dead. get over it."

Now, this is the same man who said in that same speech,. he went onto that same speech, he went onto say... BELL RINGS he envisage the day when parents and plants smart chips behind the ears of their children for identification purposes.

My dog has a chip and it's interesting that we treat a dog better than our kids. Yes. Soon DOCS will be looking for compelling evidence of child abuse when you don't chip your kids behind the ear. I'm sorry but I can't resist

offering a quote from George orwell who has his hero Winston Smith saying " It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen the smallest thing could give you away. a nervous tick and unconscious look of anxiety a habit of muttering to yourself anything that carried with it a suggestion of abnormality of having something to hide. in any case, to wear in improper expression on your face was itself a punishable offence there was even a word for it face-crime" but now we call it face book LAUGHTER BELL RINGS The human desire for privacy is universal. the human right to privacy is fundamental It's not trivial And we need it now more than ever. Thank you very much. APPLAUSE Peter Price Good evening. And thanks for that light hearted and somewhat flippant introduction

to what is a serious issue for us tonight.

CC TV provides purpose in detection prevention, displacement of crime but also influences our perception of Our perception of the fear of crime. And our perception of the environment and our overall behaviour especially in public places. CCTV is actually a very powerful messaging system its about sending a message it communicates "you are not alone" is that bad? is being alone a good thing? is being alone dangerous or advantageous? Is it reassuring to know that someone up there has an eye on the environment? i'm certain that most women in public places find the presence of CCTV


Since the beginning of time we have used messages like this to actually speak or there is a language barrier - take, for example, the raising of the white flag.

It says we give up, you win - let's call a truce. What about the big red cross painted on a tent or on a vehicle. What about an SOS sign?

So, on that basis, let's put the textbook to one side let's put the philosophical privacy issues

to one side as well and let's explore a real slice of life experience that takes place in our suburbs and communities every day and every night, 365 days a year. Let's take a hypothetical view of Martin Place just outside. During the day, lots of people around,

everyone feels safe. Feeling unsafe probably doesn't even cross your mind but at night a different story altogether. So there you are in Martin Place at 9:30 at night. 100m down the street you see a police officer. The blue and white checks are clearly visible. The officer is conspicuous to you. Result - positive impact. You feel safer almost immediately but had you been there three seconds later

the officer may have turned the corner or had you stopped to tie your shoelace you would have missed the officer.

Your perception of the landscape will almost certainly be different. You may have felt unsafe, vulnerable, even threatened, thereby changing your entire psychological and emotional circumstances. In fact, the officer was not even on patrol. The officer had just stopped to use the ATM. The impact on you is profound. The overriding issue in your mind is is the city safe at night? The impact of the perception of the fear of crime there can't be crime here as the police are around. The fear of maybe or maybe not being a victim and positive reinforcement that the area is policed. Let's take the blue light

that most of us have outside our homes. It's a messaging system too. It says, "This house is more difficult to break into. You should rather go next door." It's a displacement device,

good for you, not so good for your neighbour. What about graffiti? It too has a profound impact on our perception of an environment. We don't take our kids to parks that are vandalised by graffiti. It has the perception of being unsafe, not maintained.

There may be used syringes lying around. We feel unsafe and threatened in suburbs or places with extensive graffiti. What about speed cameras on the highway that force us to slow down? What about freeway signs that say "Unmarked police vehicles patrol this road." All these signs create positive action, action that helps save lives. All these signs or messages are helpful to us in the way that we live our lives. It's part of living in a civilised community in a democracy and in a free society. What about the surf web cam at the beach? They provide us with a great opportunity

to decide how we will spend the morning and they provide a functional service. Many CCTV cameras nowadays provide a functional service, especially traffic cams. Cameras are everywhere.

In fact, most of you, like Peter said, have one built into your phone. We don't deliberately take indiscriminate photos. We use them to share moments in time with our family and our friends. the function of phone cameras. Most of us don't abuse the speed limit,

even though our cars are built for it. Most of us don't undertake graffiti crime. Most of us don't shoplift. Most of us don't rob banks.

And most of us don't assault others in the street. But that's most of us. What about them, the others, the ones that do abuse our civilised way of life. They abuse our playgrounds, they abuse our public transport, they abuse harmony and peace in our suburbs.

And they speed on our roads and kill people. What about them? These are the people we need to deal with and guess what? They live next door. They say that crime does not pay. Not true. Crime pays big-time. About 45,000 police are employed in Australia. The entire criminal justice system is reliant on these abusive people.

We are highly emotional beings and in our civilised society

we have learnt to become tolerant but also intolerant. We are influenced by our landscape. Feeling safe or unsafe in an environment is hugely important to us. Just listen to talk back radio, especially today. When it comes to crime, there's a clear distinction between reality and perception. and it is perception that drives us mostly and impacts our decision-making. So profound is the role of perception, that it's what drives the political discussion regarding crime.

CCTV has a huge role to play in dealing with that perception.

I put it to my learned colleagues here tonight and I challenge them tonight - sorry, I put it to my learned colleagues who challenge us here tonight, take your kids to a playground that is littered, unkept, vandalised and not monitored and see if they want to hang around. See if you want to hang around. In fact, I challenge you right here tonight, after this event, let's go hang out in the back of Kings Cross

in a dark alley. Let's see how comfortable you feel about that with low lighting, no cameras, and no protection. LAUGHTER CCTV has a role to play. As well as the signage that goes with it which says "CC TV cameras in operation here," CCTV helps to deter people from being abusive. It helps law enforcement from an evidentiary perspective. It makes you and me and the kids feel safer. CCTV being conspicuous and present is almost an equivalent of our blue-and-white checks from our police officer in the dark distance on a dark night in Martin Place. Of course, like all tools, they need to be managed and we have to manage the risk of function creep and ensure that the technology is used

only for clearly defined purposes.

Maintaining law and order is what civilised societies do. People who live in our communities have a role to play too. Look at Neighbourhood Watch. Neighbours literally keep an eye out for their neighbours. What about Crime Stoppers? It enlists the assistance of the community in tracking down criminals, urging the community to provide information anonymously. If you see something or hear something, then say something. In fact today, as most of you are aware, Crime Stoppers launched a global fugitive hunt with Interpol. That's because we the community have to look out for one another, literally. In essence, the community are the eyes and ears. CCTV is eyes only. But it's better than being blind.

As they say in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Imagine if we ask nothing from our community.

Don't participate and don't make your community safer. As I said, there are about 45,000 police in Australia.

There are 21 million of us. So do the math. I, you, we all need the police. We're all busy with our lives. We engage technology in our homes, in our businesses, to make us more efficient, to stay ahead of the game. So why not do the same when it comes to community safety? BELL DINGS In closing, our justice system is there to serve us

and importantly to preserve us.

And remember this - evil prevails when good people do nothing. Thank you. APPLAUSE Paul Wilson. Well, thank you, Peter,

for the challenge of going down to Kings Cross alleys later on. I might or might not take that up depending on the result of the debate. I've just come back from Phnom Penh and Cambodia where they don't have any CCTV cameras and, quite frankly, I feel safer there than I do in Surfers Paradise where we have lots of CCTV cameras, but that's another issue. There's no doubt at all that the CCTV as a technology is a very seductive technology and there's no doubt at all that the majority of the public supports CCTV. That came out in part of the study we did on the effectiveness of CCTV and we did that study in collaboration with the Queensland police and the Gold Coast City Council as well as Queensland Rail. And there's no doubt at all that CCTV appeals to politicians both at the local and state and federal level. The public generally, I admit, and politicians believe that CCTV will prevent crime, that it will detect crime

and that it will help convict defenders. Now, I would assert that CCTV does none of these things. I don't think it prevents crime. I don't want to get into an argument with Peter Homel about what studies show what except to say that our study, which is still the most extensive study done in Australia did not show that on the Queensland Rail system, which had about 6,000 cameras, or on the Gold Coast that CCTV prevented crime. Certainly, the study of London is a good example of what's happened with massive CCTV coverage. There are 10,000 cameras, over 10,000 cameras in the city of London. There is no relationship at all between the number of cameras and the amount of crime or the amount of crime which is detected. The gold standard for looking at medical and social research is the Campbell Collaboration which is the methodology in the organisation

which evaluates evidence-based research. This year, after evaluating all the studies, as well as the Farrington and Welsh one, all the studies, the conclusion they came to was that CCTV cameras only had a minimal impact on crime. In terms of detecting crime, well, you might have read some of the advertisements

for this particular session where, in the United Kingdom, only 3% of street robberies were solved and that's the admission by the police, not by some academic. In the Gold Coast study, one of the things we did, one part of the study we did was to look at the people who were monitoring CCTV cameras and on the Gold Coast they had a very sophisticated and well-trained number of security personnel monitoring the cameras. Over 100 hours, and recording every minute what they were doing and what happened we found that over about 100 hours of monitoring there were 51 arrests. Now of those 51 arrests about 44 of them would've occurred without CCTV cameras being there. Another five or six might've been due to CCTV cameras being there but that was partly debatable.

There was really only one case where the CCTV cameras

made a difference. But let's assume that there were five or six cases out of 51 which were due to CCTV cameras. What were the cases? A man urinating on the beach. A man running naked along the sand. A man putting his thumbs up behind a policeman when he couldn't see. This is not 9/11. This is not serial murder. These are admittedly problems but the point really is that in this example, as with many other examples right around the world, not only in the Gold Coast,

CCTV detects very little crime. Similarly, it doesn't convict many offenders. Only about 2%-5% of people who are charged with particular crimes roll over because they've seen their image on a CCTV camera. The effect of leading to greater convictions happens but it's very minimal. Well, why these poor results? Why is it that all the empirical evidence - I would assert and I would disagree with Peter completely that the results are pretty negative and pretty minimal - why do you get all these bad results? There are very logical reasons.

The first reason is that drug and alcohol offenders just don't care. CCTV has increasingly been used in Australia in public areas, like malls, for example, to stop public nuisance behaviour. Well, those who are drug or alcohol affected simply don't care. We had many examples in the Gold Coast study of young kids smoking a joint underneath the cameras. And this happens all the time in studies of CCTV in public areas. Secondly, if you're not drug or alcohol affected and you want to carry out a crime then you go somewhere else where cameras don't operate. It's called displacement. It's a phenomena of crime prevention. It happens all the time. Thirdly, monitoring, no matter how good the monitors are, and the monitors in the Gold Coast City Council case and the monitoring rooms looking over what are now 60 or 70 cameras

were very well trained and professional. Yet only 84% - sorry, only 16% of their time over the 100 hours we observed them was spent actually monitoring.


Because they were dealing with the bureacracy of being asked by the police to retrieve photos,

filling in log books, taking queries from other law-enforcement bodies. Only 16% was actually spent monitoring the cameras. Sure you can improve on that

but, again, studies all over the world show that monitors don't monitor particularly well for a whole variety of reasons. And the final reason why you would expect bad results is that despite the CCTV industry saying that they're improving, and they've been saying that now for the last 15-20 years,

images and equipment break down. In New York City, the Police Commissioner has recently admitted that 50% of the cameras, 50% of the cameras, don't work. That's the problem with CCTV. You have to keep maintaining it. And yes, you maintain it, it breaks down. Councils which start to implement CCTV systems find that they don't have the money or can't maintain it. And if you don't maintain it, then clearly it's useless. So why does the myth live on of CCTV being so effective? Well, I think there are two very good reasons. First of all, there's a huge security industry out there saying to you and me and to poliiticians,

"buy our equipment, we'll reduce crime." They've got a vested financial interest in doing that. There's a second reason and the second reason is that politicians of all persuasions, but particularly at the local level, when pressed by the electorate to do something about crime or a crime problem, say, yeah, we will, we'll get CCTV. And they do. And they say we are doing something.

So there are two imperatives for the myth to live on that CCTV works. It doesn't. The consequence, though, of the myth living on, is quite severe and nobody's really mentioned the consequences of all the money and all the resources we've put into CCTV. First of all there's huge ongoing expenses for councils and others who use CCTV systems

and for the public. BELL DINGS Secondly, the notion of privacy is lost

as David, and, I'm sure, Julian will say and I think there are psychological consequences to that. Thirdly, by putting all the money we have, or a lot of the money we have, into CCTV we neglect drug and alcohol clinics, developmental crime programs, community crime programs,

things that do something about crime. Don't let's have technological fixes to psychological, economic and the social proper issues that lead to crime. Let's deal with the problems, not with technology. Thank you. APPLAUSE Christine Nixon. Thank you. Just to reiterate a little the comments made by my colleagues, Peter Homel for instance, he really talked about the idea that we think CCTV is an excellent tool - it needs to be used properly, it needs to be monitored properly. It isn't the only tool. It's used with a number of other tools and it often isn't at the expense of crime prevention as we were just told. Or to policing.

So I think it needs to be put in context. Peter explained the facts and he explained the evidence around it. One of the points he made you might not just have noted - he talked about the fact that there was a 16% drop in crime and in motor vehicle theft related to CCTV. So, let's say that's 50,000 cars and if your car is one of those cars that's not stolen you're pretty impressed. And in fact 7,500 cars not being stolen is a pretty significant difference to our economy by the use of those kind of cameras. Peter, my colleague, was practical. He talked about what it's like in the back lanes,

what it's like for people on the street. About the fact that the good people need to be protected, that they need to be involved, that the community needs to look after each other and that's, of course, what CCTV does. It helps a lot of us. One of the things that researchers do when they look at these issues and as a practical police officer for much of my life I often wondered why it was they wrote the papers they did.

'Cause often they were researching stuff we weren't interested in at all. And they also had frameworks sometimes that were a bit sort of not quite what we were interested in. This framework is all about privacy and it's all about crime reduction. I think many of us see these CCTVs in a whole other way. We see them as making us feel confident, perhaps making us feel less afraid. And fear is a massive issue for our community and trying to work on it, trying to figure out how to make people feel safer and particularly I looked around and I'm sorry to say many of you are older in this audience. But the fact is that you do feel more afraid than younger people do and so reducing fear is a good thing but that's not really evaluated as to whether it does that. Crime's a part of it. In anti-social behaviour, yes, I think we'll give it up. Not necessarily a significant issue. One of the other things people don't talk about is maybe it's about reclaiming our rights. It's about us being able to look at those people doing the wrong things, about us making good use of these kind of technologies to protect ourselves. Second good use for these CC TVs is about prosecution. Now I know Paul talked about a particular study on the Gold Coast but in fact the use of that material, the evidence that can be put that's collected through whole ranges of ways through that CCTV is in fact helpful and adds to the way that police might go about their work

and making us feel safer. I think the third part - and this is the part when you start to think about cameras - CCTV is just one of the kind of cameras in our lives. Now Peter showed you his camera on his bike. And many of you also have cameras. But if you think about you go to a sporting event - now, you don't get offended by the idea that they do in fact have cameras at that sporting event. Not to show the event, which they do, but more importantly to look at the community, to make sure that it's safe. We also have them in police cells and many, many lives have been saved because of them. So those cameras were seen as not necessarily important to start with. Some people argued against them. Some of my colleagues argued against them. Interviews. We now record an interview. And that was seen as not necessary either. It was acceptable eventually. Now you don't take a matter before the court unless you have that. It was about accuracy and about accountability. Searches for drugs. You know, we learned through the Wood Royal Commission that maybe if you had cameras when you search houses... So we came to understand that these were important. And, of course, speed cameras. Much as people argue, and whether they got the speed right or wrong, people are alive and maybe many of you because of these cameras. But again, people told us they weren't relevant. We have them in our homes, we have them in ATM, we have them on our trams, in some cases, in Melbourne, hoping they'll turn up on occasions. We have them on our railways. We have them in our banks. Now when they put them in the banks originally, of course, we used to have a lot of robberies. And they started to harden up the targets but the cameras were an important part of it. We often don't quite understand they have been a major deterrent and I think they have, over the years, made a difference in terms of bank hold-ups. Number-plate recognition systems - again another form of cameras which helps us on our roads, helps us with counter-terrorism. We've got used to these.

Last time you got into a taxi, I got into one this afternoon, and there's the camera in the taxi. It was about making the taxi drivers feel safer, it was about warning the citizen that was there. They're all just, in many ways, forms of CCTV. I don't know how many of you have used a Google Earth.

A very, very significant kind of way of another kind of camera. A big, big, big camera, that, of course, looks all over the world. And, again, it was an important part of this process. So I think we should think through our colleagues' arguments and particularly, I have to say, my first kind of colleagues' arguments. What an exaggeration! Good grief! You'd think we lived in the... I don't know where he thinks we lived. But I don't live there and neither do you. It was wonderful, and very funny, I have to say. But it was all an exaggeration, it was all about "what ifs" and "someone wrote about that" and "1984"

and all those things that don't really apply to us. We don't live in that world. We live in a world where we do respect each other in the main, where we do have reasonable government mostly.

LAUGHTER We do. I know we do. LAUGHTER And then there's this real issue about privacy and given the make-up of this panel and Julian -

now Julian clearly doesn't mind his privacy being invaded, I have to say.

I saw Julian yesterday on the radio or heard him on the radio, I saw him on the television, I read his column today, Julian - Julian doesn't mind about his privacy at all. And most people don't. And so I don't really think that privacy - LAUGHTER I don't really think that privacy is all that much of a significant issue. You know, my three colleagues seem to be a bit concerned about it and they kind of raised that it may be an issue

that we should sort of get worried about. But I sort of wonder about those three colleagues, really, and I wonder about who is it

that's so concerned about their privacy these days - who is it we're protecting? And maybe my three colleagues' point - what have they got to hide? LAUGHTER

So - and what about all of you? What have you got to hide? I think we should get Peter's camera out because we can see you all. We don't quite know where you live but we do know who you are. So the point I think is that there's also a generational shift here.

People have moved on. The idea of CCTV being such an invasive tool, such an invasive kind of issue, I think the fact is that time's moved on. If any of you have seen Big Brother - I haven't, but I hear about it.

Anybody seen Facebook? Anybody seen YouTube?

Anybody seen reality TV? Or Twitter? Even our previous prime minister and our current prime minister, all those people are most interested in using these kinds of tools, social networking tools. People don't seem to be bothered anymore. Young people don't seem to be bothered. So all the argument about protecting people's privacy is in many, many cases people don't even care about their privacy being protected. And so CCTV, I think when you think through the arguments, it does have a worth, it does have a youth - use, it doesn't really invade anybody's kind of rights in many ways. In many ways you could say that it allows us to reinforce it. And I think what will happen over time... BELL DINGS more and more people will, in fact, be using cameras, uploading onto the Crime Stoppers website. But, you see, if you recall Peel's Principles - and I know you know Peel's Principles, 1829, I too can remember history - and Peel's Principles said that the police are the public

and the public are the police. The police having full-time responsibility for what is the responsibility of every citizen. Now, I think then that cameras and use of them

and the way that we can surveil each other and we can make sure that crime is reduced is really about reclaiming our rights as citizens. Thank you. APPLAUSE Julian Burnside. Well, how exciting this is! Peter Price has invited us to go round the back alleys of Kings Cross tonight and see how we like it. You must have a very complex private life, Peter, but I'm going out to dinner. LAUGHTER Christine, speaking of David Weisbrot swept aside his carefully researched and thoroughly principled argument about the ideals of privacy

and said "I don't know where he lives." But, of course, she does. LAUGHTER And with the cameras she would want she would know everything about where he lives, everything about what he does. She said "We don't know where you live but we know who you are." Is this the sort of attitude we want behind people who would have thousands of cameras monitoring your every activity in the streets? She said I don't care about privacy. I don't care about privacy because I spoke on the radio today. Well, she also said young people don't care about privacy 'cause look at Facebook. Look at Big Brother. Look at Twitter. What she overlooks is that if I speak to people on the radio it is because I choose to. And if people put their photographs on Facebook it is because they choose to. And the contestants in Brother choose to go on it. I don't know why but they do. LAUGHTER There is all the world of difference between people who voluntarily surrender a part of their privacy and people who have it stolen from them by stealth. Now, she also drew attention, and I think Peter Price did this as well, she drew attention to the fact that there are many types of cameras all through society. People have phones with cameras, people have, you know, cameras everywhere - speed cameras, the whole lot. And that's true. And I think it's worrying in itself. Leave aside CCTV. It is a worry that everyone runs around with cameras. There's a couple of different points to make about this. The first is cameras on telephones, as I understand it, are now banned at various sporting events. because the police and the government recognised the ill uses to which they can be put.

Speed cameras, all very efficient. But what are they? Are they designed to stop people speeding or are they designed to raise revenue? It's a curious thing that they're always placed on the longest, straight, safest parts of the highway where speeding would carry the least risk. APPLAUSE And if you're pinged it's not getting cheaper. The other major difference between those sorts of cameras, which are numerous enough, and CCTV, is that CCTV cameras are designed to be monitored all the time. Now I want to put this to you very seriously. Cameras which are monitored all the time are the exact equivalent of having an equal number of informers standing around in the streets watching you except they have the advantage that they can also record what you do. So instead of having a few thousand CCTV cameras around this city, imagine having a couple of thousand paid government informers around this city. Does that make you in the least bit anxious? I know it worries me and I think it ought to worry you. What the other side haven't really done is to address the real question at the heart of what we're debating tonight and that is the trade-off between the efficacy of CCTV cameras on the one hand and the price which we pay for their presence, the price in terms of lost privacy. They gave no evidence that CCTV cameras actually reduce crime. Peter Homel referred to the Welsh & Farrington study

which, as it turned out, didn't show anything except that in car parks there's a reduced rate of theft if you have cameras there. But that, of course, is not what we are talking about. It's not just car parks at all. Walk down the street and see how many CCTV cameras you can see, including in Martin Place where car theft is probably minimal. LAUGHTER Interestingly too, the United Kingdom has the dubious advantage of having the largest number of CCTV cameras

per head of population. There is one CCTV camera per 16 people in the population in the United Kingdom at the moment. If you look at their official crime statistics, you will see that crime rates are increasing in the United Kingdom. So much for reduction in crime rates. Now, Peter Price I think came clean on this question. He said, "Well, actually it gives you a perception of safety." Well, what sort of con is that? They trick you into thinking you're safe at the cost of stealing your privacy.

LAUGHTER The most extraordinary thing about it is that they actually admitted it. LAUGHTER Paul Wilson showed you, convincingly,

how CCTV cameras do not reduce crime and do not increase in any perceptible way the likelihood of getting a conviction for a crime which has been committed. Now Peter Price said, "Well, actually, it's not all about you law-abiding people. It's about them. It's about the others. It's about the ones who do commit crimes." So what they're saying is they'll spy on us to minimally increase their chance of getting the people who actually prey on you by committing crimes against you. That doesn't seem like much of a trade-off to me. Did they address the ideals of privacy at all? No, not a bit. What Peter Price said was let's put the philosophical issue aside. Let's pretend you're not really paying for this. Um, he invites us rather to trust the government. Now... LAUGHTER How many of you here would willingly sacrifice everything about your daily movements to the government? I mean, I know they say I'm from the government. I'm here to help you, but I find something rather disturbing abut that. I'm not convinced that it's a good thing

to let the government have endless information about everything we do and every detail of our daily lives. The only thing that saves us from the tyranny of that sort of information is that governments aren't very efficient but as dictatorships around the world have shown and as you've already heard said by David today, some dictatorships are efficient enough to use that sort of information

against the very people they're supposed to be protecting. Now, you know, it's all lots of fun, point-scoring like this, and the third speaker for the negative is also supposed to score points off the other side. But there is actually a very serious point about this and I want to be serious for a moment. There is something indefinably important

in our need and desire to be left alone. Christine said, I think as a joke, that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to lose, nothing to fear. I don't think that's right. I don't think that's right at all. How many people here close the curtains at night? Does that mean you've got something to hide? Or is it just that you simply need to feel as though you have some private space in an increasingly crowded world? One of the problems with privacy, which we can all recognise, is that like other fundamental rights, it's hard to win and it's impossible to regain if ever it's lost. All we can do now, I think, in this argument is to minimise any future loss of privacy that we have. Try this thought experiment - if you want to deal with real criminal conduct, as has been discussed, put a TV camera in every room of every house right across the country. Put a TV camera in every room in every office right across the country and in every parliamentary room and office as well, have them all monitored centrally, have them all captured to a vast central database so that any criminal conduct of any sort committed by anyone in any of those places will be caught on camera and will lead to a successful prosecution.

That's the highest they can put their case. BELL RINGS Assume that much effectiveness, how many of you would be comfortable about the idea of having everything you do in life captured on film like that just so some people might be caught out breaking the law. There's a grim line in one of Tom Stoppard's plays. He said "Think in your head now, think of the most private, secret, intimate thing you have ever done, secure in the knowledge of its privacy. Are you thinking of it now? Well, I saw you do it." What a grim idea that is. Think about the misuse of cameras to capture David Campbell. I felt desperately sorry for that man. He did nothing wrong. But the use of cameras was his undoing.

That seemed to me to be a wicked thing to do. It wasn't done by CCTV cameras but it could just as well have been done by CCTV cameras and equivalent things could happen to any of you who are important enough to attract the interest of the press or the police. Do not sacrifice what remains of your privacy.

Thank you. APPLAUSE That was barrister Julian Burnside

arguing against the proposition Better More Cameras Than Crime at a recent IQ Squared debate. His team were the clear winners on the night with 75% of the audience voting against the notion. Well, that's all for today. Hope you enjoyed the show.

Remember Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11am on ABC1 is where you'll find each week's newest serving of Big Ideas. Or if you want more Big Ideas in your day, head to our website at: where you'll find hours and hours of brainy talks

from some of the world's most interesting minds. I'm Tony Jones, till next time. This Program is Captioned


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