It is a well-known concept that ‘prevention is better than cure. This is also applicable in the case of crime and criminals as well. Prevention of crime and protection against criminals is the basic elements in the governance of all countries and societies at all times and one of the ways of it is using Surveillance.

The degree of preventive measures is the indicator of the degree of safety and social security from crimes and criminals. In the era of modernization and digitalization, law enforcement uses modern techniques with conventional techniques for the prevention of crime.

Nowadays, commonly Surveillance is provided via CCTV cameras and footage. This is an additional eye for us and assists in the surveillance of public places, offices, etc. There are a number of reasons why an individual might need this kind of surveillance, ranging from domestic disputes to criminal activity. Ultimately, it is a way to obtain reliable proof of wrongdoing by the criminals.

Surveillance helps the investigators and law enforcement in the investigation process for the purpose of justice in the court of law and also in the identification of crime as well as criminals. Surveillance also helps in security purposes in public places and workplaces.

Surveillance is a technique is used for motoring the behavior, activities, or other changing information usually of people for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting them or to keep close watch over someone especially a suspect in an offense.

Surveillance is therefore an ambiguous practice creating sometimes positive or other times negative too. It is sometimes done in a surreptitious manner. It usually involves the job of observation of individuals or groups by Government organizations. However, there are some exceptions such as disease surveillance which involves monitoring the progress of a disease in a community.

Types of Surveillance

The following are various types of surveillance in vogue:-

  • Computer Surveillance– Devices such as camera, telephones and social network analysis fall under this head. One common form of surveillance is to create maps of social networks based on data obtained from social networking sites such as Facebook, twitters etc. 
  • Biometric Surveillance– Biometric surveillance is a new technology that measures and analyzes human physical and behavioral characteristics for authentication, identification or screening purposes.
  • Aerial Surveillance– Aerial surveillance means gathering of surveillance. It is used for keeping a close watch on people especially any suspect in a crime usually by means of visual imaginary or video from an airborne vehicle.
  • Corporate Surveillance– Corporate surveillance is the monitoring of a person or group behavior of a Corporation’s Human Operatives Organizations that have enemies and wish to gather information about their group members and their activities face the issue of infiltration.
  • Identification and Credentials Surveillance– The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging by using very small electronic devices called RFID tags which are applied to or incorporated into a product, person or animal for the purpose of identification and tracking of people or things through radio-waves. 
  • Satellite Imaginary– From this type of surveillance the information gathered through satellite.
  • Data Mining– It is the application of statistical techniques and programmatic algorithms to discover previously unnoticed relationships between people especially of suspects or issues relevant to a given case within the data.
  • Global Positioning System Tracking Devices– These devices are kept in people’s vehicles to monitor their movements and can be used without a warrant.
  • Mobile Phones– Surveillance activity can also be carried on by trapping information of signaling system recorded in mobile phone usage.
  • Postal Service– As more people use postal services, faxes and e-mails etc the significance of surveillance by the postal system gains importance. This is common and easy method of collecting data or movements of people or things useful for investigation and identification of crime and criminals.
  • Other Surveillance Devices– Surveillance devices or bugs are hidden electronic devices and used to capture, record, and transmit data to and form from a receiving party such as enforcement agency.
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