Discussing CCTV and Street Lighting in IELTS Writing and Speaking

A few weeks ago, I posted an article on discussing internet safety with the question:

Some people believe that technological tools such as body scanners and CCTV have significantly enhanced our safety and security, while others feel that they have resulted in a loss of privacy.
Do the benefits of these items outweigh their disadvantages?

In recent news, the police force in Wales has decided to abandon CCTV screens for several reasons.
The first part of the video below shows reasons for removing CCTV, and you can use these to argue your points:

Reasons for removing CCTV

  1. Little evidence that CCTV deters crime
  2. Systems cannot produce images acceptable in court
  3. Removal of CCTV did not result in a significant rise in crime

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: txmx 2 via Compfight

Look at the following question.
How can you answer this in IELTS Writing Task 2 or IELTS Speaking Part 3?

What can the government do instead of spending money on CCTV footage?

Watch the next part of the interview with the police commissioner in Wales and see if you can identify the two things he mentions:

  1. _______
  2. _______

The interview then moves on to the subject of street lighting and the advantages and dangers of dimming street lights at night. Watch the rest of the video and see if you can identify the words that are used by the speakers.

One of the ways that *councils are thought to save money is if they switch off or dim street lights between certain hours overnight. An enormous amount of concern is that actually that can have an impact on crime perhaps risk more crime. Is that something that you’re concerned about as a crime commissioner?

Police commissioner:
Yes, I am concerned about it actually. There is 1)__________ to connect street lighting with crime prevention. I think the important thing here though is that decisions are best made at a 2)__________ level by councils who know their area best and that they’re able to 3)__________ the money they’re spending on street lighting where it’s most effective, provided that is done with close 4)__________ with the police in the area. Then it obviously is a decision that councils will have to make. But I think the important thing is that there are channels of 5)__________, that these channels are kept open between the police and the local authorities.

But as a crime commissioner covering such a big area, you would say, presumably, don’t turn off the lights because that could lead to more crime?

Police commissioner:
Broadly, there is a connection between lights and preventing crime. That doesn’t mean that everywhere lights are 6)__________. You need to focus your efforts clearly. So where councils are facing those sorts of 7)__________, the important thing is, that they talk to their local police forces and are able to identify what the likely 8)__________ are. There are certainly parts of mid Wales where I think there are lights that are maybe not 9)__________ and they’re put up largely because there was money available when they were put up. That money as we now know is not so available so we have to make sure that we’re focusing those efforts where it’s most effective and there are other areas of course where it’s 10)__________ we keep street lights off …

Useful linking expressions are underlined in the text. Try to use them when you discuss your opinions in the IELTS interview.

*the group of people elected to govern a particular area, town, or city, and organise services for it

Share and compare your answers with other IELTS students in the Reply box below.

Until next time!

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