Technology Solving Crime
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There are 4 million CCTV cameras in the UK – one for every 15 of us. It is thought, on average, that each one of us is captured on film 300 times every day. Does this booming industry worry you? It shouldn’t, because only the guilty have anything to hide.
Advances in technology have cut crime and conviction rates by unimaginable proportions compared to just a few years ago. Calls to the government about policing a "nanny state" are well-founded, however over-reaction to new technology isn’t uncommon – after all, we’re all a little afraid of the unknown.
Examples include the police DNA database, which has helped to detect 500 serious crimes. People suspected of commiting a crime have their DNA entered into the national database, which can then be cross-checked every time a crime is committed. It is thought that by 2008, it will have samples from 4.2 million of us.
Why is taking our DNA evidence a problem when the vast majority of us will never commit a crime?
Your mobile phone records can be checked and analysed if you are suspected of committing a crime, which in itself can be deemed an intrusion of privacy. In addition, the very nature of the way that the mobile phone network operates means that your whereabouts can be tracked, and you can be monitored whenever you use your phone.
Why is tracking our whereabouts a problem? Surely, should a person go missing, the very idea that they can be traced by making a simple phone call makes this technology indispensable.
Technology is currently being developed, which would be able to track our cars by satellite whenever we enter London. The total mileage travelled will then be added up and a congestion charge applied.
Is this not a better alternative than the current £8-per-day congestion charge, which is applied to everyone without discretion?
It is inevitable that advances in technology will lead to more intuitive solutions to our everyday problems, and that crime will almost certainly remain the catalyst, encouraging new ideas and new technology to come to the forefront.
Some liberals will no doubt harp on about the supposed loss of privacy, or how officials could misuse our data, but in all honesty, the only ones fretting, are those who have something to hide.