West Coast LEAF joins 14 groups and organizations in opposing Vancouver City Council Motion B4 “CCTV Cameras for the Purpose of Public Safety and Deterring and Solving Violent Crime.”
Motion B4 lacks any grounding in evidence-based practices regarding the use of surveillance as a deterrent to crime or investigatory tool for policing. It also involves no coherent anti-racist, anti-poverty, or human rights analysis of CCTV and its implications for marginalized community members.
We know that our concerns and the overall safety of community members will not be mitigated by CCTV. On the contrary, expansions of CCTV are linked to the criminalization of poverty, targeting of Black and Indigenous people in public space, and mass collection of data without authorization or administrative fairness.
While there are some survivors of gender-based violence who may support the use of CCTV cameras, more surveillance will also explicitly target and harm Black, Indigenous and racialized women and people of marginalized genders living at the dangerous intersection of cisheteropatriarchy and racism. Increasing CCTV is another expensive and dangerous tool to further criminalize women who are living in the DTES, especially racialized women and girls, drug users, and sex workers.
We urge Council members to oppose Members’ Motion B4 at the upcoming City Council meeting.