The Disadvantages of Surveillance Networks
- Surveillance is something that, in many cases, is round-the-clock. Even with cameras and electronic alarms that let personnel know when a breach has been committed, or that will record everything for posterity, it still takes considerable manpower to watch over all the technology and to keep an eye on the cameras. Every moment that surveillance is conducted, it requires some human force to put in time to keep things running smoothly.
- Surveillance networks require money to establish and maintain. The costs range from paying personnel to be present and monitor locations, the costs of electronic monitoring equipment, repair and maintenance as well as overtime and the expense of electricity to keep everything running, and a surveillance network can get very pricey very quickly.
Rules and Laws
- A surveillance network always has to operate within certain boundaries. For instance, while it is legal to videotape a place with the owner's permission, it is illegal to do so without a warrant or a writ from a court that says otherwise. This can lead to problems actually gathering the information necessary, and if any rules are broken or lines crossed without permission then the surveillance information may not be allowed in court.
- Surveillance networks are general tools, not specialized instruments. A surveillance network can be in place for days, months or even years without actually making any progress on the problem that it's designed to solve. There is a criminal justice theory that people will behave in accordance with what's expected of them when they're being watched, and thus the presence of a surveillance network can act as a deterrent. However, that works only if people know or suspect they're being watched, and if you're watching for something specific to happen and that something doesn't occur, you have spent a lot of time, energy and manpower with no concrete results to show for it.