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Home » Eric Töpfer: Phoenix from the Ashes? Urban CCTV Surveillance in Crisis

Security, Conferences, 2010, Abstracts, CCTV

Phoenix from the Ashes? Urban CCTV Surveillance in Crisis

In face of the global recession capitalism was recently suspected to be the "biggest enemy of surveillance" (Murakami Wood 2009) as operating costs of public area CCTV are cut back and an increasing number of cameras is left unattended.

On the other hand, technology is promising to substitute security staff both in the privatized utilities struggling for "cost-efficiency" and competitive advantage but also in the public sector put under increasing pressure by rising debts and politics of austerity. Thus, rather than causing a sudden death of CCTV it is more likely that the economic crisis is accelerating "economies of scale". Drawing on pieces of evidence from Britain and continental Europe the paper will outline how this is transforming the current landscape of urban surveillance, networking ever more systems and integrating ever more functions, and discuss some implications for the policing of urban space.