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Siemens claims widespread support for surveillance

by Brian Sims

Pan-European research commissioned by Siemens has found that a majority of consumers do not believe that the widespread use of video surveillance infringes on people’s civil liberties. In addition, the survey revealed overwhelming support for the use of surveillance in reducing crime. The study” carried out by YouGov” questioned over 6,000 adults in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK about their views on video surveillance and its role in society. ‘Over the last 20 years or so CCTV systems have been introduced across the length and breadth of Europe, and a cursory glance around any town or city will usually result in a camera or two being spotted,’ stated Peter Hawksworth, CEO of Security Products from Siemens. ‘The use of CCTV elicits strong feelings, either for or against, and Siemens has concluded that most of the figures quoted and statements made are based on the type of conjecture and misinformation that suits a particular argument. Therefore, we wanted to find out what the public really thinks about its ability to reduce crime and whether it infringes upon civil liberties.’ Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with two statements. The first statement read, ‘I believe that the widespread use of CCTV cameras infringes on people’s civil liberties’. In Sweden 69 per cent said that they felt that CCTV does not curtail freedom, followed by the UK (65 per cent), France (57 per cent) and Germany (45 per cent). In Spain, however, the figure was much lower and only 33 per cent said it doesn’t invade privacy. The second statement read, ‘I agree that CCTV cameras are useful in reducing crime and providing evidence to the police’. Despite the negative perception in Spain regarding privacy issues, 89 per cent of respondents there answered positively. It was closely followed by Sweden (88 per cent), France (83 per cent), the UK (81 per cent) and Germany (77 per cent).

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