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Surveillance Cameras: Fighting Crime or Invading Privacy?

Are surveillance cameras in public places a helpful tool in solving crimes or are they a modern day Big Brother? Most Americans take the more benign view.

Seven in 10 respondents in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll said they support the increased use of surveillance cameras as a way to help solve crimes. One-quarter opposed the idea.

Support for more closed-circuit cameras in public places is shared across the political and ideological spectrum. Two-thirds of liberal Democrats support the measure as do 85 percent of conservative Republicans. In addition, 72 percent of moderates and 71 percent of independents favor the proposal.

Although support is widespread, some groups are less supportive than others. Among those under age 35, 63 percent support the plan, but it's 79 percent of those age 55 and up. Blacks are less likely than whites to support surveillance. And while two-thirds of city-dwellers support an increase in cameras, suburbanites are even more supportive.

One difference particularly attracted the attention of Behind the Numbers. More than seven in 10 married men prefer more surveillance cameras, compared with 57 percent of bachelors. About three-quarters of women, married or unmarried, said they support the increase.

Why the difference among single men? Your thoughts?

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  July 31, 2007; 12:19 PM ET
Categories:  Post Polls  
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