Camera Surveillance and the Police Force

“Camera surveillance turns up the heat on the police force”. Camera surveillance may prove to be the end to police brutality and corruption in law enforcement. It seems to be on every newspaper headline and every new story that a policeman is caught on CCTV beating an unsuspecting citizen or engaging in some obscene act.

Police brutality is an immoral and unlawful act that has left communities in a dilemma wondering who they should report these crimes. Police seem to hold more authority and use their power to use intimidation to enforce the law. Regardless of what anyone has done, the law of South Africa stipulates that ‘we are innocent until proven guilty’ and whether we have committed a crime we still reserve our basic human rights and that is the right to be treated fairly. With the recent uproar with the Bheki Cele scandal, it’s clear that corruption in the police force starts at the top. The SAPS has been caught dumbfounded and speechless concerning their most respected force and them being caught red-handed on a camera. It has been said that the camera doesn’t lie and indeed it doesn’t.

The installation of surveillance and CCTV equipment in our homes and yards may be the most pragmatic way, sadly, to curb the crime statistics in our country. So far it has been CCTV that has managed to expose the police and their illegal acts. Camera surveillance is being used by the average household and doesn’t seem to cost as much as it did a few years ago. The equipment is more portable and accessible at its basic form. Some may consider the installation of a CCTV in your home an infringement of privacy; some may view it as an excuse to spend money. All those theories may be true but CCTV footage in court equals evidence, which is something that many of the biggest criminal cases in South Africa lack. We all have to work together to bring down crime this may very well mean tearing down the structures that were once implemented to ‘Serve and protect’ at least those are those words that were spoken under oath.

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