Thanks to CCTV, London is supposed to be safe

Salut les frenchies,

Fière diplômée d’un bac ES, j’ai intégré, la rentrée dernière, le cursus londonien de l’université Dauphine-Paris (le GBD). L’acclimatation pour moi, Fanny Gavelle, ou Fann pour les anglais (la signification de mon prénom laisse à désirer dans la langue de Shakespeare), est une étape houleuse et loin d’être terminée.

Fraîchement arrivée dans la capitale des buveurs de thé (et de pintes), mon quotidien se résume à prendre des bus rouges et à me protéger de la pluie, mais pas seulement…

… This is my story


Fann Gavelle

One night, when I was coming home after a party with my two roommates. We saw two police cars parked next to our house. At first, it seems like nothing. I guessed that the two police officers were making their rounds in the park nearby. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the case. The next morning, my neighbor, Inès, a very nice Central African lady, told us that a teenager was murdered. She said that it was probably gang related. My roommates and I were shocked but we rationalised our fear : It was just an epiphenomenon, nothing to worry about. But when another incident occurred, this time, right in front of our house, we started to feel scared about the city. The police officer that knocked on our door at 11 pm on a thursday to collect our testimony, tried to reassure us. He told us that the neighborhood was safe, that this two incidents were just a coincidence. And that is true, I checked the crime map, this events don’t happen very often in here.

I guess that this incidents just made me wonder if I was feeling safe in London. I mean, when you think about it, a city of this size cannot be crimeless, of course they will have some burglaries and shoplifting but the 2 murders (one death confirmed, the other one is just an assumption) in the same street within two weeks, I feel like I’m living in Detroit !

Moreover, in my opinion, London is supposed to be safe. What I want to say is that Londoners didn’t gave up their privacy to CCTV for nothing ; and I feel that the city didn’t keep its side of the bargain. An article from the Guardian (CCTV boom has failed to slash crime, say police, May 6th 2008) explain that CCTV images were not used that much (only 3% of street robberies) to solve crimes. Another article, much newer, published on the webpage Quora (What has been the effect of London’s extensive CCTV surveillance on crime ?, November 8th 2013) explains that CCTV cameras is good to prevent minor incidents such as theft or burglary. But, it struggles to reduce violent crimes that are more spontaneous and therefore, less predictable. This article is also pointing out the fact that CCTV cameras major impact was more the sense of security that it arouse among people.
I feel like safety in London is like everything else in London : It’s all or nothing. In other words, I feel safe generally speaking. When I walk in the streets at night, I don’t have the impression that something bad is going to happen to me (at least less than in Paris). But, deep inside, I know that if something does, it will be big !




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