Tuesday, January 25, 2005

From London to here

According to Bloomberg.com, “Violent crime in the U.K. rose 6 percent in the three months through September, led by an increase in alcohol-fueled offenses and gun crimes, police figures show.”

Three questions: Why would a nation plagued by bar fights extend liquor service to 24 hours a day?

How can a nation that outlaws guns have gun crimes?

Aren't those community video cameras making London safer?

Last night in a Channel 11 news story about gang violence in south Dallas, Police Chief Kunkle said he’d like to see security cameras placed in alleys and other areas to deter crime. I’m a Chief Kunkle fan but his fixation with security cameras is worrisome.

South Dallas criminals will not be scared by cameras. They’re too high on crack to care. Chief Kunkle knows this. With budget and manpower shortfalls, he can’t put more officers in place so this is his answer. The cameras will give the residents the illusion of protection and – the good part for the Chief – they can be funded through private means in the same way Deep Ellum businesses will be asked to pay for their cameras. But after considering UK crime -- or closer to home, Megan Leann Holden, no one can seriously propose cameras as a long-term strategy. Hopefully the Chief sees them as a mere temporary solution until he gets the budget for real officers and real crime-fighting tools. As I've said before, there's no security in security cameras.

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