Security Cameras in the New York City Subways
The New York Times has an article about cameras in the subways. The article is all about how horrible it is that the cameras don’t work:
Moreover, nearly half of the subway system’s 4,313 security cameras that have been installed — in stations and tunnels throughout the system — do not work, because of either shoddy software or construction problems, say officials with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the city’s bus, subway and train system.
I certainly agree that taxpayers should be upset when something they’ve purchased doesn’t function as expected. But way down at the bottom of the article, we find:
Even without the cameras, officials said crime in the transit system had dropped to a record low. In 1990, the system averaged 47.8 crimes a day, compared with 5.3 so far this year. “The subway system is safer than it’s ever been,” said Kevin Ortiz, an authority spokesman.
No data on how many crimes were solved by cameras, but we know from other studies that their effect on crime is minimal.