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In NJ, Higher Tech Lowers Crime 219

crimeandpunishment sends along this snip from an AP story carried on "High tech means low crime in a New Jersey city that has used an arsenal of advanced technology to sharply lower one of the highest crime rates in the nation. And now East Orange is poised to become the first city in the country to take high tech crime fighting to a whole new level ... surveillance cameras with sensors that can be programmed to identify crimes as they unfold."
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In NJ, Higher Tech Lowers Crime

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:03PM (#32635464)

    Privacy and freedom are more important than a few lives. After all, what is the point of living if you have to do it under constant control and observation? I'd rather be dead.

  • by shashark ( 836922 ) * on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:15PM (#32635556)

    So I lived in the mission area of SF for a while earlier this year. This place was bad - post the 21st street or so. A friend of mine was mugged & beaten badly at 24th and Mission (where Bart is) at 9 in the evening.

    Last year they started installing cameras all around (very visible effort - you could see cameras all around you) - and the crime rate (atleast the mugging rate) went down immediately. Everyone here agrees that the drop in crime can be attributed to the street cameras. This opinion is also shared by business & hotel owners whom I know and meet.

    I do think nothing can improve Tenderloin though.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:29PM (#32635648)

    They are actually charging users with much higher crimes by adding up all of their purchases. I've had friends that have been charged with their entire years worth of purchases in a single case.

    Rather than charging on a single offense for purchasing a small quantity of heroin in Jersey City. They are waiting until the charge can be trumped up to 6 months of their use. So instead of being charged with purchasing a single gram (bundle)... they are being charged with purchasing 400grams over the course of 6 months to a year, bringing long prison sentences to habitual users.

    The high charges are definitely a deterrent for users, though I hardly think these charges are justified.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:40PM (#32635704)

    England has millions of surveillance cameras with little detectable effect on crime. []

    The cameras make it easier to arrest people, but we already arrest more people than the system can handle. Arresting more, makes no difference.

  • by vandelais ( 164490 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:54PM (#32635790)
    Any casino
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:58PM (#32635812)

    Last year they started installing cameras all around (very visible effort - you could see cameras all around you) - and the crime rate (atleast the mugging rate) went down immediately.

    As I recall from the reports in England and other places that have done the same thing an initial drop in crime is common. But unless there are other efforts made to keep crime low, the effect wears off and crime rates return to nearly the same levels. My impression from what I read is that it's due to the novelty wearing off and to the criminals realizing a camera can't arrest them or stop them or really do anything until long after they've left the scene. Especially if the camera feeds aren't even monitored in real time - which is apparently where the interest in having the cameras recognize when a crime being committed comes from, so they can alert a human in real-time. I say good luck with that.

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:37PM (#32635988) Journal
    How do you detect a gun shot cheaply and with triangulation?
    Could it be via a cheap device called a microphone? Strange how its now "gunshot detection" like its some optical device.
    If they can listen for gun shots, they can listen for voices and create a nice 'part time' state voice print database.
    Welcome back to COINTELPRO version 2.0 down every large street.
  • Re:Wrong reason? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:39PM (#32635992)
    It's arbitrary to pick a time interval and compute the change in the crime rate from it. Why pick 2003 as the starting time? Why not 2000, or even 1980? Those kinds of soundbytes are great for politics, but not so good for true understanding.

    At the very least, a plot of the data as a curve over all the years that are available _should_ be expected.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:20PM (#32636168)

    As a criminologist I have to say this interpretation of the relationship between crime and incarceration is... well... not supported by the evidence. The relationship between incarceration rates and crime rates is loose at best and this has been demonstrated both in cross national studies and in longitudinal studies of the United States and other western nations. For example, in the United States incarceration rates have risen dramatically and consistently in the last 40 years while crime rates have fluctuated considerably. The factor that has the biggest impact on the incarceration rate is actually changes in sentencing strategies. Changes in sentencing strategies are often only loosely related to crime rates, if at all, however.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:30PM (#32636214)

    What we really need in NJ are cameras that can be programmed to identify political corruption as it unfolds. Oh wait, we already have them, they're called 'regular cameras pointed at our politicians'.

    The only problem is that the "crime detection software" for those cameras pointed at politicians, aka "The News Media" are too busy trying to replicate the success of Fox News where shouting matches and hate-fests are more important than illumination or truth-finding.

  • by PrecambrianRabbit ( 1834412 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:35PM (#32636236)

    Whether a lowering of the crime rate corresponds to an increase in safety depends on which crimes are being reduced, of course, but typically a reduction in crime rate corresponds to a reduction in violent and property crimes.

    Now, padding arrest rates with drug possession/prostitution arrests may be political posturing, but arrest rate is not the same as crime rate.

  • Re:Done! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Vasheron ( 1750022 ) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @10:00PM (#32636360)

    Unfortunately the evidence doesn't support your hypothesis: []

    How about we try teaching people to be rational whilst supplying them with good reasons to behave - that seems logical to me.

  • by beh ( 4759 ) * on Monday June 21, 2010 @02:31AM (#32637642)

    ...that 25years ago, we all saw that the surveillance states of the Eastern block were an abomination not worthy of a free society...

    Now, we create surveillance society V2.0 here in the west...

Loose bits sink chips.