An article at the SF Chronicle discusses the ineffectiveness of 178 cameras in a public housing development.
“[The cameras] have never helped police officers arrest a homicide suspect even though about a quarter of the city’s homicides occur on or near public housing property, city officials say.
But it may not necessarily be the security cameras that are ineffective as much as the security program using that tool. The article inadvertently mentions this:
NOBODY MONITORS THE CAMERAS, and the videos are seen only if police specifically request it from San Francisco Housing Authority officials. The cameras have occasionally managed to miss crimes happening in front of them because they were trained in another direction, and FOOTAGE IS PARTICULARLY GRAINY AT NIGHT when most crime occurs, according to police and city officials.
Without a proper security program that requires tasks such as an individual monitoring the cameras, a camera system is simply a deterrent for some crimes instead of a proactive extension of security to preventing most (if not all) crimes.