Poll: 78% Now OK With More Surveillance Cameras

Public strongly approves of how Boston bombings were handled

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 1, 2013 3:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Public opinion is firmly behind having more surveillance cameras in public places in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, according to a new CBS/New York Times poll. Some 78% of people called the cameras—which helped identify the suspects—a good idea, and only 20% said the government had gone too far in restricting civil liberties to fight terrorism, the poll found. "There are cameras in stores and supermarkets," one respondent, a saleswoman in Florida, said in a follow-up interview. "Our families would be safer and surveillance cameras would provide evidence to help agencies pursue people, like they just did in Boston."

The poll found that 66% of Americans believe another terrorist attack is at least somewhat likely in the next few months, up from just 37% at this time last year, according to the poll, which also found that the public gave law enforcement agencies high marks for their handling of the bombings. Some 84% approved of how law enforcement dealt with the attacks, and 68%—including 47% of Republicans—approved of President Obama's response.

A surveillance camera is seen across the street from a Cabrini Green Housing Project building in Chicago.
A surveillance camera is seen across the street from a Cabrini Green Housing Project building in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
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I don’t have a problem with cameras as long as they are public. But wiretapping without a warrant goes too far, now that the immediate 9/11 crisis is over. - Kath Buffington, a retired teacher
from Rochester, NY

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