IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 511 - The use of video cameras in public places is being increased

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

In many cities the use of video cameras in public places is being increased in order to reduce crime, but some people believe that these measures restrict our individual freedom.

Do the benefits of increased security outweigh the drawbacks?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:
Today, thanks to new technologies being used in public areas like cameras, the rate of different types of offences has been decreased phenomenally and many people welcome this monitoring system for enhancing public safety. Some individuals on the other hand believe that the use of cameras in public places has caused citizens’ privacy to be intruded more than before. However, in my view, these devices should be continued to be used in public areas, and their benefits outweigh their probable disadvantages.

On the one hand, those believing that installing cameras in the public could be against their freedom have their own reasons. One is that they can be against people’s privacy. As a prime example, in some TV programmes, the plate number of some reckless drivers, who have crossed the line, are shown to the viewers, and this can negatively affect their social prestige because their family, friends or co-workers might have watched this programme. Furthermore, these recorded videos can be misused. In some public premises, there is not appropriate control on the preservation of data received by these cameras; therefore, individuals’ pictures might be stolen and used for other aspects, including sharing them on the YouTube or other social networks. The feeling someone is always watching is somewhat not accepted by many as they think that a good citizen has a right to enjoy his privacy.

On the other hand, despite of having the mentioned setbacks, their positive influences are far prominent. One major benefit is a better control of vandalism by the police force. Obviously, the best source of access to what has occurred during public brawls is monitoring the recorded videos. In particular, the police of Vancouver had been able to arrest those hundreds vandals, who mainly were Husky fans, ruined plenty of public and private premises in 2011. Had not these cameras been installed in streets, the Vancouver police would not have had any reliable resource to capture these outlaws. In addition, this can assist the judge to track better terrorists. Clearly, numerous of violators can be followed by the order of court or police annually, while there were no such valuable records before. For instance, in 2013, the police of Boston used these videos and could detect the two boys who were responsible of explosion during a marathon running. We need to keep in mind that the cameras installed in public places are meant to prevent any crime or to detect a criminal. The good citizens have nothing to worry about. However, the monitoring authority should make sure that no misuse of those public cameras is done by anyone in any circumstances.

In brief, although some may agree that usage of public cameras can be against the citizens’ privacy, from my perspective, the benefits gained by these devices are far greater. They can be useful for police to detain far easier offenders or terrorists who jeopardize other people’s lives.

[ Written by - Rambod Taghaodi ]
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