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Germany 'needs more public security cameras'

Published: 21 Oct 2012 10:33 GMT+02:00

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the country needed more security cameras in public places.

Germany currently does not have extensive security cameras coverage of streets and parks – they are largely limited to train stations. There is a strong social suspicion of public monitoring in the country which can be seen in strict privacy and data protection laws, as well as photo-based maps being forced to blur out houses when requested.

Anything other than putting more cameras and “the more police the better” on the streets, would be surrender, he added.

The Christian Social Union (CSU) politician said it was unacceptable that in certain areas in cities, people could not go about their daily lives safely and suggested that cameras would deter criminals acting as a preventative measure against crime.

Increasing police presence on the street would, he said, also help people in Germany feel safer. The brutal murder of a young man in central Berlin has triggered Friedrich's push for increased public safety.

The seemingly growing brutality of street crime in Germany has concerned the minister. He added that in general, figures had dropped but the attacks that did happen tended to be more violent.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:54 October 21, 2012 by Englishted
They do not stop crime , as the crime takes place with or without cameras .

For example how many violent attacks have been videoed at underground stations. The may help in solving crime but the surveillance is a heavy price to pay.

They are becoming increasingly unpopular in the U.K. where they are seen as the start of "big brother" (the book not the other rubbish ).
12:40 October 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Fully agree with you Englishted. Stiffer penalties is what is needed in Germany for such violent crimes. There are enough people with smartphones around to deter criminals without the need of video surveilance. If they are not deterred by the likely possibility of someone with a smartphone filming them then they will not be deterred by big brother like surveilance. I also agree with your comment about the other "big brother" being rubbish. :-)
13:07 October 21, 2012 by StoutViking
I'm with Englishted on this.

Violent crimes in public areas happen because there's no presense of law enforcement to prevent them. I think the cameras are simply an excuse to have even less policemen on the streets, which will eventually result in more crime.

To top that, the moment these cameras are up, we'll have all the good-doers protesting, crying "Big Brother" (tho I doubt they ever read the novel).
15:12 October 21, 2012 by sonriete
I never realized Friedrich was from the CSU, although I have thought he'd feel at home there.

They are slowlly taking away all the small freedoms we claimed after the Nazi's fell, of course the right to privacy and freedom from government surveillance is chief among them. The crime rate is down overall, it is a fraction of what it is in other western countries, yet still they find an excuse to play to people's fears so they can win an election next year.
16:18 October 21, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Don't go down this street Germany! The UK has 1 CCTV camera for every 14 people and as we have seen time and time again these cameras do not help at all. So often the evidence they produce is not a high enough quality to be admissible and more often than not they are used to catch people dropping a cigarette end or incorrectly parking rather than the violent criminals that the idea was sold on!!!!!
19:06 October 21, 2012 by McM
Not sure about the idea they are there to prevent crime and maybe on the odd occasion that may be a prevailing reality but I understand they are there to make people accountable for their public actions and social interactions in public places. If you are not up to no good what is the issue about collecting the light reflected of people in places of public places. Oh alright, your shy and feel you own the light reflected off your presence and no one has the right to capture such precious artifacts from your being.

Can't help smile about the indignity this issue always generates in posts. Great stuff.
19:54 October 21, 2012 by sonriete
I have heard that in America in some of the gated condominium communities they are making all dog owners provide "DNA" samples of their dog's poop so if some is found in a common area not picked up it can be sent to a lab for "DNA" analysis and the wretched criminal dof and owner can be brought to justice.

They feel this is a reasonable intrusion to guarantee poeople are held acountable for their social actions in public places.

No doubt this will soon be coming to Germany as well, just like the British CCTV cameras.
20:03 October 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
@sonriete

LOL. If they did that in the Friedrichshain district of Berlin they would have one giant pile of dog poop to filter through. I doubt there is a lab big enough to handle this amout of crap.
20:11 October 21, 2012 by raandy
Perhaps, and only that, that CTR is not a big deterrent to criminality. The stats show that solving crime , especially violent crime is prosecute successfully more often where security cameras are in use, ie, the police brutality.

I am a bit discouraged over the loss of privacy but safety trumps that.
20:44 October 21, 2012 by zeddriver
I think we need to look at the root cause of violent crime. When I was a young lad in the late 60's early 70's. I nor any of my friends would have even thought of committing ANY sort of crime. The most trouble we ever caused. Was the occasional setting of of a firecracker or smoke bomb.

I believe the crime of today has two root causes.

1. Because of the unbridled effort to accumulate TAG watches, Over priced BMW's. And homes large enough to house 3 families. This means that most families will have both parents working. Thereby leaving the kinder to be cared for by an uncaring stranger that only looks after them for money. This leads to a lack of discipline. Of course the working parents might feel guilty and will lavish monetary gifts upon them. What the kids needs are parents.

2. As western society marches ever closer to the Karl Marx government model of the government mandating how everything is to be done. To include how, When, And in what way you are allowed to raise your kids. I.E. parenting through government committee. One is not allowed to use a stern voice with their children anymore. In fact. If your child misbehaves. You are not allowed to punish them in any way. We are told that we must hug them and tell them that it's OK and we understand why they assaulted the kid next door. To show them how much we understand. We then will buy them a new iPhone 5 if they promise to not assault anyone again.

No wonder the kids are so screwed up and have no direction or goals in life.
22:04 October 21, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Just wondering if the people who monitor these security cameras are required to pay GEZ?
22:32 October 21, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
It is always being said, that there is less crime in Germany than in passed years. My experience is just the opposite. In the part of Bielefeld where I live, not just older people are frightened to go out after dark, because of the increase of violent crimes being committed. Hardly a day goes by without at least one mugging or armed robbery occurring in this quarter and Bielefeld is said to be one of the safest towns in Germany.

The truth is, seldom does one see a policeman on the streets or in the parks here, there are far too few of them about. That however is not the only problem, when criminals are caught, many are not even charged with an offence, because the judges are said to be overworked and the state attorneys tend not to put first-time offenders before a court of law.

Also the British idea of a neighbourhood watch, or the private patrolling of public transport, as can be seen in Berlin, does not seem to catch on here. Crime would appear to be something the majority do not want, but against which nobody is prepared to take action.
22:44 October 21, 2012 by steel jaws
Cameras are not the answer. Since they have been put in use in London and Eastbourne most of the criminals have just moved to Brighton. More police is the only real way to reduce this problem
23:06 October 21, 2012 by Steve1949
I think that crime has been on the increase since shortly after the fall of the wall.
07:27 October 22, 2012 by Hendrich Stein
Disciplining creates rebellion and resentment like aversive stimuli creates neurosis.

We need better education is the key, in a loving atmosphere before warped ideas induce greater suffering for everyone.

We need to be more affectionate with our children and enjoy life so we can respect human value. We need radical change that is the simplest to implement. If you are religious, spiritualism is good for you and love heals all. If you are not, positive reinforcement still makes sense from a practice point of view. We must strive to be happy because this is what mental health is based on, happiness. Not attacking our fellow man. lest we become attacked.
08:28 October 22, 2012 by hech54
I have no problem with surveillance/security cameras....but if Germany feels the need to go down this ROAD then there better be damn clear and damn liberal laws set in place as to what the "average Joe" is allowed to photograph and video in public. No more of these vague "greater or less than groups of 5 people - blurred faces" nonsense. If you don't want your photograph taken, don't roam the public streets....that goes for politicians as well.

Just like the London Underground/Tube bombings. Police asked that if anyone had photos or video from the Underground from the day of the bombings to please come forward with photos or video....all the while London police enforced their moronic "No photography in the Underground" laws(Section 44 and Section 41).
20:39 October 22, 2012 by Englishted
@ zeddriver

Maybe you could explain the violent crime in the 1930'S ?

When people didn't have anything following the wall street crash .
00:59 October 23, 2012 by zeddriver
@Englishted

While crime is crime. There are differences from today. As you said. Most in the 30's didn't have a thing and resorted to crime in varying degrees to survive. And there weren't any emergency safety nets. Such as welfare, Food stamps. There were huge amounts of people that were starving. Add to that the fact that the alcohol prohibition in 1919 created the ideal situation for the formation of organized crime. The stock market crash just expanded the sphere of the Mob.

Compare that to today or even the last 40 years. In the US. The governments own figures show that the impoverished house hold has the following. A house or apartment with Airconditioning, Cable television, Internet, A cell phone, A car, Computer, Xbox/PS3. While they may have a hard time making ends meet. They are nowhere near the same as the poor in the 30's.

A lot of the violent crime of today has grown out of a mentality that has been drilled into the heads of the young. And that message has been, If you want it and you don't have it. It's because someone has kept you from getting it. In other words. The kids for several decades have been taught that it is their RIGHT to have everything they want. And if they don't get it. They will take it. Those kids are now adults and still have that same attitude and pass it along to a new generation. All of this is the result of a lack of parenting. Coupled with the liberals in government restricting the rights of parents to parent. The politicians then pile on by telling all within earshot that if you vote for me I'll give you things.
11:13 October 23, 2012 by Onlythetruth
President Joachim Gauck called for greater public spirit and a culture of togetherness as the political elite in germany continues to screw the middle class with imported cheap foreign labor. But with the resulting decline in western culture and the growing possibility of moral ambivalence and jihadist sentiment we'll all have to be spied on more closely. Get used to it.
17:10 October 23, 2012 by blackboot11
Berlin fuer alles hits it spot on: Stiffer penalties is what is needed in Germany for such violent crimes.
18:29 October 23, 2012 by almorr
Yes, you are so correct. There are more security camera's here in the UK than there was in the old German Democratic Republic. A person can walk for miles in any city in the UK and the 'security police' are watching him every where he/she goes. Karl Marx must be laughing in his grave.
23:03 October 25, 2012 by trommlers
what good does a garland to a monkey!
16:18 October 29, 2012 by Beachspirit
They should have the cameras and stiff penalties against criminals.
23:36 October 31, 2012 by Timec
Contrary to what some idiots would have you believe, the US is quite good at the "stiff penalties" things.

Hint: It doesn't actually do any good.

As for childhood discipline - I'm not someone who freaks out if a parent yells at their kid or even (I probably shouldn't admit this) applies moderate and controlled corporal punishment (ie, when the parent is actually in control of themselves and not lashing out in anger.) Those might not necessarily be the most effective forms of discipline in many cases, but they're definitely not going to destroy children either (once again, as long as the parents retain control of the situation and don't go overboard) - as evidenced by the fact that they were the most common forms of discipline for thousands of years.

With that said, I think people are oversimplifying the problem, and blaming one of their pet issues (lack of discipline of children! overly lenient justice system! Muslims!) for a problem that is in fact caused by a myriad of interrelated issues.

And in other cases, the problem is drastically overstated and overhyped in the first place.
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