Crime & Public Safety

CITIZEN VOICES®

Should towns install surveillance cameras in public parks?

Oct 16, 2017

The town of Derry plans to place surveillance cameras around Hood Park in an effort to reduce criminal behavior such as drug use and vandalism. But will the cameras make the park safer, or infringe on people’s privacy rights? Read more about this issue. On October 16, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should towns install surveillance cameras in public parks?”

"Should towns install surveillance cameras in public parks?"

Cameras in NH Parks Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 236 participants gave 359 responses.

A total of 88% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 12% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 236 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 359 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

No: A majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 60%, were opposed to installing surveillance cameras in public parks.

  • “No. It would cost less to have police add parks to their patrol.”
  • “No. The dopers and other criminals will avoid or vandalize the cameras. It takes boots on the ground to deal with these people.”
  • “No. We've lost too much privacy as it is.”

Yes: A minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 40%, were in favor of installing surveillance cameras in public parks.

  • “Yes. It’s a public park so privacy isn’t a question… I’d rather have a camera pointed at me than kids point out they found a needle. Pretty common to find now.”
  • “Yes. More passive security is always a good thing.”
  • “It would prevent a lot of vandalism.”

Other: As noted above, 12% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Logistics: “How would they pay for it? Who would be watching?”
  • Jurisdiction: “Seems like that should be up for a vote by the town residents.  It's their park, after all.”
  • Enforcement: “Only if the courts are actually going to punish people committing crimes.  Sick of seeing the same people walk, time and time again.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question.

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