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New CCTV Posters In UK Train Stations – Posters Better Than CCTV Itself?

The new strangely creepy CCTV poster found in a Brighton, England train-station

The UK is the most watched country on Earth, and still the citizens seem to be increasingly preoccupied with crime. As of 2004, England had one surveillance camera for every fourteen citizens, and it’s gone up since then, all in the name of security.

But do CCTV cameras actually reduce crime? The statistics aren’t all that spectacular for the studies that show a positive result, and most studies suggest that camera density has no overall impact on the levels of crime at all, especially in residential areas. A better idea might be along the lines of the West Midlands Police’s ‘Operation Momentum’ – using posters and an understanding of psychology, instead of cameras, to try to limit crime. Read on:

this controversial poster went up in the London Underground in 2002

The above poster, Secure Beneath the Watchful Eyes, is an exceedingly creepy 1984-esque public service announcement poster that went up in London a few years ago. The point of the poster is the eyes. Those bizarre, disembodied eyes may be a way to actually cut crime rates without resorting to intrusive and expensive cameras. Psychologists from Newcastle University found people put nearly three times as much money into an ‘honesty box’ when there was a pair of eyes on a poster above the box, compared with a poster that featured an image of flowers. And it may not just be an image of eyes either, the cameras in the first poster may have the same effect by triggering the feeling of being watched.

(via BoingBoing)