Camera Park

HCLU is very concerned about the camera system planned to be installed in Városliget. HCLU is calling for your help in standing up against the unreasonable intrusion into the private life of the park’s visitors.

The Local Government of Zuglo and the Metropolitan Local Government is planning to set up a camera system in the Városliget. The General Assembly will deliver its decision in the following weeks.

According to various reports, the aim of the camera system is to increase public safety. According to Zoltan Rozgonyi, vice-mayor of Zuglo those parts of the Városliget „would be observed, where robbery and car-theft is committed in greater number.”

HCLU is increasingly concerned that there are fewer and fewer parts of the city where we can live our private life without being observed by the authorities.

We are calling for your help to stop the unreasonable limitation of the privacy of the park’s visitors. We are calling for your help for this cause even though we also recognize the importance of public safety.

There are many arguments expressed in defense of camera systems, but only few of the many arguments against them are discussed. We are asking you to consider not only the arguments pro but to consider also the arguments against camera systems. By giving you a summary of arguments of both sides, we would like to help you to have all necessary information in forming your opinion on the atmosphere you choose to live in. Please forgive that below we will detail only the arguments against the camera systems, but the arguments for them are emphasized and detailed by others already.

Arguments for

Arguments against

Effective in reducing the number of crimes in general

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No actual study ever has been prepared in Hungary showing that the use of camera system has effect in reducing crimes by contributing either to crime prevention, or to crime investigation

 

There are no crimes committed on places equipped with cameras

 

 

There are several studies prepared in Germany and England showing increasing number of violent crimes also on territories equipped with cameras

 

Effective in reducing the number of car-theft.

 

Car-theft comprises 1-3 percent of the total number of crimes.

The number of crimes committed in the Városliget are high, therefore camera system is needed

 

There is no data on the number of crimes committed in the Városliget

This really worth it for increasing our own safety

 

There are other solutions increasing our safety. Solutions, which do not intrude in our private sphere and does not restrict our rights for personal data protection, such as better street light, better police service, safe parking lots, etc

 

more cameras= more safety

Cameras influence our behavior. Has anybody shoot a picture of you once? If yes, you know how different you behave during a picture shoot than during just simply taking a walk. Very soon there will be no corner in the city where we can behave without being concerned of cameras watching us.

 

 

Taking away the chance from people to spend private moments with the family or a partner in the Liget without being concerned of cameras, is a strait violation of the private sphere of people.

 

 

It has very high costs (HUF 150 million for building up the system and HUF 10 million every year for the operation and maintenance.

It is very questionable how do we benefit from such expensive system and what do we get in exchange except the restriction of our rights

 

 

Even if we take that a camera system contributes to reducing the number of crimes on the streets, does not prove that is has the same effect in a park, where the view of cameras are blocked by trees. (or shall we destroy the trees?????)

 

The decision about the cameras of the Városliget is expected to be delivered in October. HCLU is convinced that setting up further cameras in the city is a wrong and questionable step.

The cameras do not help to increase our safety but they constitute a serious intrusion in our privacy. We find it important that you become aware that it is not necessary at all to let other people watching you by cameras when you walk your dog, play with your children, or you are having lunch sitting on the grass, or boating on a lake. Be aware that there are various different solutions that does not intrude in your privacy and respect your private life.

If we accept that we need the cameras only for protecting the playgrounds or the benches, (i.e. if we need them to prevent vandalism and destruction of property), than it is easy to see that this protection does not balance out the damage it causes by depriving us from our basic rights.

If you do not agree with the decision that equips the Városliget with camera system, please let your local representative mayor know your opinion. Turn to the ones who shall represent your interests and shall pay attention to your opinion. Write them a letter, an email, or send them a facsimile, or even give them a phone call. Be aware that they work for you.

We hope that we are not alone with our concerns. We hope you also want to stand up for saving Budapest to be a city that is good to live in.

 

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