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Explanation of the Rise of CCTV Surveillance in the UK

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Different theories have been employed in order to explain the development of CCTV systems across modern states. In the study of Hier (2004) CCTV is characterized as ‘ a ‘ social ordering strategy’ which serves the interests of elite/business partnerships through risk-based modes of neoliberal regulation’ .The above study – which is heavily based on the metaphor of panopticon in order to explain the use of CCTV systems for the limitation of criminal activity does not refer to the criteria used for the evaluation of CCTV as part of a region’ s social life. On the other hand, the fact that CCTV systems have been implemented in order to serve the needs of business activities cannot lead to the assumption that these systems are closely related with the society; CCTV systems have been proposed primarily as tools for the protection of business interests – their use in communities for the protection of the safety of citizens has been the next step.

In other words, the social character of CCTV resulted through the years – it was not a primary characteristic of these systems. Another theoretical framework for the explanation of the development of CCTV systems could be the communication privacy management theory; the specific theory which implies that ‘ people manage the boundaries around information that they seek to keep private’ (Allen et al. , 2007, 172) could be used for the explanation of the use of CCTV in the following context: people can effectively handle cases of emergency when information is available; when time is required for the retrieval of the information necessary to reveal the causes of a particular event, then there are many chances that people involved in the specific task will be unable to complete it – at least a significant delay is expected to exist.

The study of Allen et al. (2007) refers to the use of CCTV systems in the workplace – for the surveillance of employees but also for the surveillance of the business establishments; the issues of safety and fraud are quite emergent in the specific environment – in other areas, like outside schools, CCTV systems are expected to serve the needs of the public and not of entrepreneurs.

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